US President Barack Obama is demonstrating his dedication to tackling cybersecurity issues with his involvement in a cybersecurity summit taking place today.
The meeting at Stanford University in California will bring together industry and law enforcement including the president and Tim Cook from Apple.
The meeting follows the launch by President Obama of an intelligence unit to co-ordinate analysis of cyber-threats.
According to a report by the BBC, a senior member of Britain’s National Crime Agency is also due to appear, along with executives from Microsoft, Facebook and Google.
The White House made a statement to say that President Obama “wants to build support for efforts to better protect against cyber-threats and share more information about cyber-attacks.”
While the summit is being held in Silicon Valley, it is actually being run by the White House in a bid to tackle the increasingly important issue of cyber security and the threat that cyber terrorism poses to the US and world security as a whole.
According to reports written by the BBC, President Obama, who will be joined at the summit by top US security officials and is planning to call on private tech firms to share more information with law enforcement, potentially placing him at odds with the companies.
If the president does choose to follow this line then he will be following in the footsteps of the British prime minister David Cameron, who said that forms of communication that are resistant to surveillance measures should not be allowed, despite the views of businesses that are against this policy.
Many saw these comments by David Cameron as a direct attack on encrypted communications, such as Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype, among others.
While general security issues ae to be discussed at the conference, there will also be a focus on discussing ways that the White House can work to protect consumers online. This issue is particularly relevant when taking into consideration the problems following the Sony Pictures hack which was blamed by the US on hackers in North Korea.
According to the BBC, America and China have also taken more aggressive stances towards each other over cybersecurity recently, with the USA charging a series of Chinese people with hacking last year.
The French have already moved to increase security levels in relation to cyber attacks following the Paris terror attacks while the Dutch government will be reassessing their policies following an attack only this week on many websites.
When announcing the summit, President Obama said cybersecurity was a “challenge that we can only meet together”.
“It’s going to bring everybody together – industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in the field, as well as students – to make sure that we work through these issues in a public, transparent fashion,” he said.