President Barack Obama is expected to announce an executive order directing the government and companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats in response to attacks like that on Sony Entertainment.
As in other policy areas where Obama has been unable to get legislation through the now Republican-controlled Congress, the White House is turning to more limited administrative actions to advance its agenda as much as it can.
The announcement could be tonight or tomorrow, when the U.S. president speaks at a daylong conference on cybersecurity at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley, according to three participants in the conference.
The move comes as big Silicon Valley companies prove hesitant to fully support more mandated cybersecurity information sharing without reforms to government surveillance practices exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
“We are certainly hearing that an executive order may be announced,” Nuala O’Connor, president of the technology lobbying group Center for Democracy & Technology, said as she boarded a plane en route to the event.