Executive Order --Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions


Given that identity crimes, including credit, debit, and other payment card fraud, continue to be a risk to U.S. economic activity, and given the economic consequences of data breaches, the United States must take further action to enhance the security of data in the financial marketplace. While the U.S. Government's credit, debit, and other payment card programs already include protections against fraud, the Government must further strengthen the security of consumer data and encourage the adoption of enhanced safeguards nationwide in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality while maintaining an efficient and innovative financial system.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to improve the security of consumer financial transactions in both the private and public sectors, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Secure Government Payments. In order to strengthen data security and thereby better protect citizens doing business with the Government, executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, as soon as possible, transition payment processing terminals and credit, debit, and other payment cards to employ enhanced security features, including chip-and-PIN technology. In determining enhanced security features to employ, agencies shall consider relevant voluntary consensus standards and specifications, as appropriate, consistent with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119.

(a) The Secretary of the Treasury shall take necessary steps to ensure that payment processing terminals acquired by agencies through the Department of the Treasury or through alternative means authorized by the Department of the Treasury have enhanced security features. No later than January 1, 2015, all new payment processing terminals acquired in these ways shall include hardware necessary to support such enhanced security features. By January 1, 2015, the Department of the Treasury shall develop a plan for agencies to install enabling software that supports enhanced security features.

(b) The Administrator of General Services shall take necessary steps to ensure that credit, debit, and other payment cards provided through General Services Administration (GSA) contracts have enhanced security features, and shall begin replacing credit, debit, and other payment cards without enhanced security features no later than January 1, 2015.

(c) The Secretary of the Treasury shall take necessary steps to ensure that Direct Express prepaid debit cards for administering Government benefits have enhanced security features, and by January 1, 2015, the Department of the Treasury shall develop a plan for the replacement of Direct Express prepaid debit cards without enhanced security features.

(d) By January 1, 2015, other agencies with credit, debit, and other payment card programs shall provide to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plans for ensuring that their credit, debit, and other payment cards have enhanced security features.

(e) Nothing in this order shall be construed to preclude agencies from adopting additional standards or upgrading to more effective technology and standards to improve the security of consumer financial transactions as technologies and threats evolve.

Sec. 2. Improved Identity Theft Remediation. To reduce the burden on consumers who have been victims of identity theft, including by substantially reducing the amount of time necessary for a consumer to remediate typical incidents:

(a) by February 15, 2015, the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall issue guidance to promote regular submissions, as appropriate and permitted by law, by Federal law enforcement agencies of compromised credentials to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance's Internet Fraud Alert System;

(b) the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, and the Social Security Administration shall identify all publicly available agency resources for victims of identity theft, and shall provide to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) information about such resources no later than March 15, 2015, with updates thereafter as necessary. These agencies shall work in consultation with the FTC to streamline these resources and consolidate them wherever possible at the FTC's public website, IdentityTheft.gov; and

(c) OMB and GSA shall assist the FTC in enhancing the functionality of IdentityTheft.gov, including by coordinating with the credit bureaus to streamline the reporting and remediation process with credit bureaus' systems to the extent feasible, and in making the enhanced site available to the public by May 15, 2015.

Sec. 3. Securing Federal Transactions Online. To help ensure that sensitive data are shared only with the appropriate person or people, within 90 days of the date of this order, the National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and OMB shall present to the President a plan, consistent with the guidance set forth in the 2011 National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, to ensure that all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process, as appropriate. Within 18 months of the date of this order, relevant agencies shall complete any required implementation steps set forth in the plan prepared pursuant to this section.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

October 17, 2014.

- Issue: Consumer-


Human Rights News

President Obama's Weekly Address: What You Need To Know About Ebola


WASHINGTON, DC -- In this week's address, President Obama discussed what the United States is doing to respond to Ebola, both here at home and abroad, and the key facts Americans need to know. There is no country better prepared to confront the challenge Ebola poses than the U.S. and although even one case here at home is too many, the country is not facing an outbreak of the disease. Our medical professionals tell us Ebola is difficult to catch, and is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is showing symptoms. The President made clear that he and his entire administration will continue to do everything possible to prevent further transmission of the disease domestically, and to contain and end the Ebola epidemic at its source in West Africa.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, October 18, 2014.

Economic News

Political Parties

democratic party symbol

Democratic Party Platform


October 23, 2014, Thursday 2:13 p.m.

Issue - Military

In our continuing efforts to keep America safe, President Obama and the Democratic Party believe we must address the threat that nuclear weapons pose to our security and to peace in the world. Despite the two decades that have passed since the end of the Cold War, large stockpiles of nuclear weapons persist, and more nations are interested in acquiring them. Nuclear testing and black-market trade in sensitive nuclear materials continue. And terrorists remain determined to buy, build, or steal the ultimate weapon.

Republican Party Symbol

Republican Party Platform

Small Business and Entrepreneurship

October 23, 2014, Thursday 2:13 p.m.

Issue - Business

America's small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing tens of millions of workers. Small businesses create the vast majority of jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. Under the current Administration, we have the lowest rate of business startups in thirty years. Small businesses are the leaders in the world's advances in technology and innovation, and we pledge to strengthen that role and foster small business entrepreneurship.

Libertarian Party Symbol

Libertarian Party Platform

2.8 Education

October 23, 2014, Thursday 2:13 p.m.

Issue - Education

Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children's education.


Executive Order: Ordering the Selected Reserve and Certain Individual Ready Reserve Members of the Armed Forces to Active Duty



October 16, 2014

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Effective today, pursuant to sections 121 and 12304 of title 10, United States Code, I am authorizing the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to order the Selected Reserve and certain members of the Individual Ready Reserve to active duty to augment the active forces in support of Operation United Assistance, providing humanitarian assistance and consequence management related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the West Africa region. The authorities that have been invoked will ensure the Department of Defense can properly sustain the military operations required in this effort.

A copy of the Executive Order I have issued is enclosed.



- Issue: Military-

The Department of Defense Must Plan for the National Security Implications of Climate Change


The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies.

Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.

In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a "threat multiplier" because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today - from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts.

- Issue: Military-

Recap of President Obama's Week

West Wing Week


In San Dimas, California, President Obama established 346,177 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument. To date, the President has preserved over 3 million acres of land for public use. The President made the short trip over to Andrews Air Force Base to meet with more than 20 foreign chiefs of defense who have joined together in the fight against ISIL. Later, the President sat down with local high school students to talk about preparing for their future in a 21st century economy. Then, they made a spontaneous trip down to the White House basketball court to play a quick game of HORSE. The President continued to work closely with federal agencies and senior staff on putting into motion every possible action to ensure we effectively treat and prevent the spread of Ebola.

- Issue: -