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Obama pitches cyber security at State of the Union speech

US President Barack Obama has promised to push cyber security reforms in his annual State of the Union address to the Congress.

He has pledged to urge Congress to pass a legislation that will help improve cyber security in the United States.

“And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft and protect our children’s information. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable,” Obama said.

The proposals include measures intended to facilitate cyber threat information-sharing between the public and private sectors; to protect student data; to raise the punishments for cybercrime; and to create a federal breach notification standard and nationwide cyber defence standards.

“If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”

“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids," Obama said to a bipartisan standing ovation, The Hill reports.

The pitch comes almost three months after a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, in which a hacker group called #GOP, presumably from North Korea, hacked into Sony’s network and stole lots of classified data, including celebrities’ contact information and some yet unreleased blockbuster movies.

Roughly 33 million viewers watch the State of the Union each year, although viewership has been declining in recent times.