Obama appoints execs from Microsoft, Uber and MasterCard to cybersecurity panel
A new cybersecurity panel is to serve as an advisory body in recommending better technology and cybersecurity policiesGetty Images

The White House released a list of names that US President Barack Obama has appointed to the new Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity panel. The panel was formed earlier this year as part of Obama's $19bn (£13bn) proposal to boost the US government's cybersecurity system.

The panel includes top members of the tech, intelligence and academic communities. Among others appointed is CEO and president of MasterCard Ajay Banga; Microsoft Research's Peter Lee, Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan, former NSA director General Keith Alexander and Stanford cyberpolicy and security researcher Herbert Lin.

In a statement, Obama said: "I have charged the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity with the critically-important task of identifying the steps that our nation must take to ensure our cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world. These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to this important role, and I look forward to receiving the Commission's recommendations."

The commission will have an advisory-only role and will be tasked with rehauling the US government's current tech policies to develop and provide new long- and short-term suggestions on cybersecurity, privacy, safety and collaborative initiatives between government agencies and private tech firms.

Coincidentally, the announcement of the panel members came with a new encryption bill. The bill proposed by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr would compel tech firms to decrypt consumer data at the government's request.

The Obama administration has indicated that the bill does not have the president's support. However, the mere existence of such a bill brings to light how divided and undecided the current US government is on cybersecurity and tech policies.

Here is the list of members appointed to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity:

  • General Keith Alexander, USA (Retd)
  • Annie I. Antón
  • Ajay Banga
  • Steven Chabinsky
  • Patrick Gallagher
  • Peter Lee
  • Herbert Lin
  • Heather Murren
  • Joe Sullivan