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President Barack Obama signed an executive order on cybersecurity Tuesday that calls for voluntary reporting of threats to US infrastructure such as power grids, pipelines and water systems.
The directive, which follows two failed attempts in Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, allows the government to lead an information-sharing network but stops short of making mandatory the reporting of cyber threats.
A senior administration official said the order does not preclude the need for legislation but gets a cybersecurity program started that can encourage sharing information that may be confidential or classified.
"Since the prospects for the bill remain uncertain and given the risks... the president is in a position where we have to take action," the official said on condition of anonymity.