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Trump: U.S. Policy Is to Promote Open, Interoperable and Secure Internet

President Donald Trump's new executive order on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure—which includes that he wants an "open, interoperable, reliable, and secure" internet—was being hailed by some of those critical infrastructure providers.

“Securing America’s communications networks is vital to the U.S. economy and the White House’s Executive Order on protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure is a positive step forward in this significant effort," said USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter. "We welcome this important step, and our members will continue working cooperatively with all parts of our government and the broader communications and internet ecosystem in our shared responsibility and common mission to help protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from malicious attacks.”

The President said it would be the policy of the executive branch to "promote an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet that fosters efficiency, innovation, communication, and economic prosperity, while respecting privacy and guarding against disruption, fraud, and theft."

Among the directives from the President are a report on the "sufficiency of existing Federal policies and practices to promote appropriate market transparency of cybersecurity risk management practices by critical infrastructure entities" and another on protecting the American people from cyberthreats. 

The executive order says that, for too long, the executive branch has "accepted antiquated and difficult-to-defend IT."

“As a critical enabler of the global internet and a trusted cyber advisor to the federal government for more than 10 years, CenturyLink applauds today’s executive order for affirming the need for continued dialogue with industry to improve the resilience of the internet ecosystem,” said CenturyLink SVP public policy and government relations John F. Jones. “Together, government and industry can work to ensure the global cyber ecosystem remains a commercially interoperable and open platform where free speech, education, innovation and the digital economy can thrive. We look forward to working with the administration and identifying more ways industry can help protect America’s cyber infrastructure.”

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) was not as pleased with the President's plan.

     "We are disappointed to see that this executive order is mostly a plan for the government to make a plan, not the private sector-led, actionable agenda that the country actually needs to address its most pressing cyber threats," said ITIF VP Daniel Castro. 

     Cybersecurity should be a top priority for the Trump administration. The last administration put together a commission which left a comprehensive set of action items for the new administration to pursue that should have been the starting point for this order. While the executive order checks most of the boxes thematically, it generally kicks the can down the road instead of taking any decisive actions.