By Luke Vargas
John Brennan, President Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, said Wednesday that the administration was deeply frustrated by the failure of proposed cyber security legislation in Congress and that executive options were being considered to step up domestic security going forward.
“We worked very hard to push forward and advance the cyber security provisions that were included in the Lieberman-Collins bill that unfortunately did not advance last week,” Brennan told a gathering at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. “One of the things we need to do in the executive branch is to see what we can do to maybe put additional guidelines and policies in place under executive branch authority.”
Brennan noted that one of the reasons governmental action is needed on cyber security is that the private sector has chosen not to develop adequate security measures on its own, and that interventions are now increasingly expensive.
Although he declined to spell out the specifics of existing vulnerabilities, Brennan made reference to attacks on water and electric utilities, as well as the sabotage of transportation networks that could, for instance, cause two speeding trains to be routed into collision with each other.
“Believe me, the critical infrastructure of this country is under threat,” Brennan said. ”I mean, if the Congress is not going to act on something like this, then the President wants to make sure we’re doing everything possible.”