President Barack Obama is set to sign an executive order on Friday aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government and each other, a response to attacks like that on Sony Entertainment.
The order sets the stage for new private-sector led "information sharing and analysis organizations" (ISAOs) - hubs where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security.
It is one step in a long effort to make companies as well as privacy and consumer advocates more comfortable with proposed legislation that would offer participating companies liability protection, the White House said.
"We believe that by clearly defining what makes for a good ISAO, that will make tying liability protection to sectoral organizations easier and more accessible to the public and to privacy and civil liberties advocates," said Michael Daniel, Obama's cyber coordinator, in a conference call with reporters.
Obama will sign the order at a day-long conference on cybersecurity at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The move comes as big Silicon Valley companies prove hesitant to fully support more mandated cybersecurity information sharing without reforms to government surveillance practices exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.