By President Barack Obama
More than any other nation, America is defined by the spirit of innovation, and our dominance in the digital world gives us a competitive advantage in the global economy. However, our advantage is threatened by foreign governments, criminals and lone actors who are targeting our computer networks, stealing trade secrets from American companies and violating the privacy of the American people.
Networks that control critical infrastructure, like power grids and financial systems, are being probed for vulnerabilities. The federal government has been repeatedly targeted by cyber criminals, including the intrusion last year into the Office of Personnel Management in which millions of federal employees’ personal information was stolen. Hackers in China and Russia are going after U.S. defense contractors. North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony in 2014 destroyed data and disabled thousands of computers. With more than 100 million Americans’ personal data compromised in recent years—including credit-card information and medical records—it isn’t surprising that nine out of 10 Americans say they feel like they’ve lost control of their personal information.