◼ Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security. - Andrew Kaczynski/Buzzfeed
The order — setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism — was already the law of the land, signed by the president. But it was also secret.
The document was "embargoed until delivery of the President's in the State of the Union address" — despite the fact it had already been signed....
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor explained in an email Administration's decision to, temporarily, conceal the new order: "We wanted to release the EO early on an embargoed basis because the subject matter is complicated and we knew you guys would have questions. It seemed more helpful for the press corps than sending it concurrent with the speech."
Vietor added "this isn't unprecedented. Take for example sanctions Executive Orders. They are signed one day, go into effect at midnight but are not released until the next day."
The new order appears, however, to have taken effect immediately; Vietor didn't respond to a follow up question about when the order took effect.
Keeping White House executive orders secret is far from unprecedented, but usually concerns actual secrets. In 2002, the Bush White House signed a controversial executive order allowing for warrantless surveillance on those suspected of terrorism. - Read more at the link
◼ Cybersecurity Executive Order Is a Mistake Every Way You Look at It - David Inserra/Heritage: The Foundry