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Draft order would give companies cyberthreat info

October 20, 2012 • Business


FILE In this Oct. 10, 2012 file photo, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The military is ready to retaliate if the nation is hit by cyber weapons, according to Panetta, as an executive order is being prepared for President Barack Obama’s signature directing U.S. spy agencies to share the latest intelligence about cyber threats with the companies operating electric grids, water plants, railroads and other vital industries to help protect them from electronic attacks. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House executive order would direct U.S. spy agencies to share the latest intelligence about cyberthreats with companies operating electric grids, water plants, railroads and other vital industries to help protect them from electronic attacks, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.

The seven-page draft order, which is being finalized, takes shape as the Obama administration expresses growing concern that Iran could be the first country to use cyberterrorism against the United States. The military is ready to retaliate if the U.S. is hit by cyberweapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. But the U.S. also is poorly prepared to prevent such an attack, which could damage or knock out critical services that are part of everyday life.

The White House declined to say when the president will sign the order.

The draft order would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of organizing an information-sharing Login to read more

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