What the Candidates Think  

Obama: During his first term, President Barack Obama pushed for new cybersecurity laws, many of which encourage the government and private industry to work together to thwart cyber attacks, particularly on national infrastructure. Some of the proposed laws would mandate that private industry follow established “best practices,” in order to assure that proper computer security procedures are followed. The 2012 Democratic Party platform lays out the threat and some of the president’s past initiatives, while also indicating that the administration will use executive powers to further strengthen cybersecurity. 

Romney: Gov. Mitt Romney has offered few, if any, remarks about cybersecurity during the 2012 election. The Republican Party platform, however, makes note of the ongoing cyber threat when it comes to National Security. “The government and private sector must work together to address the cyberthreats posed to the United States,” it reads. The document goes on to criticize the Obama administration, which it says undermines the “collaborative relationship” by proposing new regulations. “The costly and heavy-handed regulatory approach by the current Administration will increase the size and cost of the federal bureaucracy and harm innovation in cybersecurity.”

Between 2009 and 2011, there was a 17-fold increase in cyber incidents at American infrastructure companies. (National Security Agency)

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