From: Susan Crabtree
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 4:13 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: print pool report #2
More POTUS quotes from the cyber security meeting with Donilon and Palmisano, along with Jeh Johnson and Penny Pritzker.
See Print Pool Report #1 for beginning of POTUS comments from the meeting.
Obama cited "some enormous progress" since he came into office, "chipping away at the problem" and "trying to upgrade certain systems and patch over certain security vulnerabilities:
"Even as we are vigilant and constantly trying to improve the security of systems we currently have, and even as we set up a framework for cooperation with the private sector where there are particular vulnerabilities, this is going to be a big agenda, a long term agenda that is extremely complicated and extremely technical and is going to require us to overhaul a bunch of legacy systems that are already in place."
"For that reason part of the cyber security action plan was to put together a bipartisan commission whose task was not to generate some fat report that collects dust but in a timely way that focuses on what are the long-term challenges that we face, what are the systems that we need to build and can set a clear sense of direction for the federal government" working in collaboration with the private sector, state and local actors for the next "five years, 10 years, 20 years..."
"I'm really happy that we have identified two people that I can't think of anybody who would be better serving in this capacity...a dear friend of mine, former national security director Tom Donilon, who spent a lot of years here at the White House [and is] steeped in national security strategy and understands every aspect of our intelligence systems, our national security systems and has worked at the highest levels of government.
"And Sam Palmisano, who is a former CEO of IBM and knows a little bit about computers. But he has also served on a variety of nonprofit and advisory boards thinking very deeply about the issue of how do we make cyber security a top priority..."
"We're also going to make sure some of our key cabinet secretaries like Jeh Johnson, secretary of Department of Homeland Security and Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, and others" are involved, he said.
The goal, he said, is to produce a report no later than Dec. 1.
"The scope of the work is broad. They are going to be thinking about everything including how do we keep huge databases that exist in the federal government more secure to how do we more effectively work with critical sectors of our economy, whether it's the financial sector or our critical infrastructure like utilities to make sure their systems are more secure. How do we provide the general public timely and continuously updated information about the best practices, things they can do to keep their families safe, keep their finances safe, keep their health information private, how are we going to improve the process...for IT software and hardware that makes the government run so it's not as vulnerable to hacking attacks? How do we make sure we attract the very best personnel on these issues?
"...We're confident that this is going to be the kind of product that is of great importance to everybody, and this is not an ideological issue that should divide Washington on party lines. This is something that everybody's got an interest in making better."
White House Correspondent