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White House Lays Out New Cybersecurity Guidelines

Executive order is designed to secure information sharing, protect against future WikiLeaks-style data losses
Following a seven-month review of cybersecurity practices, President Obama today signed an executive order formalizing key procedures and outlining rules for data handling among federal agencies.

According to reports by the Associated Press and other news organizations, the executive order is designed to safeguard classified information and protect government computer networks against unauthorized disclosures, such as last year's release of thousands of pages of secret documents by the website WikiLeaks.

Under the order, the government will create a special committee to coordinate information sharing and to ensure that agencies that use classified computer networks protect information, according to AP. Each agency will have a senior official oversee classified information and be responsible for safety measures.

Some agencies already limit the use of "write" capabilities on computers or the use of removable memory devices.

"Our nation's security requires classified information to be shared immediately with authorized users around the world but also requires sophisticated and vigilant means to ensure it is shared securely," Obama's order says.

The order instructs Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. director of national intelligence, James Clapper, to establish an "Insider Threat Task Force" to find ways to deter and detect security breaches.

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