If There's A National Cybersecurity Policy, What Should It Cover?

from the if-anything... dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in the various news stories about a new report recommending to the incoming presidential administration a set up a national cybersecurity policy, which is the sort of broad pronouncement that many people would instinctively agree with. However, it's not really clear what this covers. The report covers both government and private companies' computer networks, as if the issues and challenges facing each should be covered under a single plan. There's also talk of some new kind of warrant called "data warrants" rather than search warrants. Obviously, protecting internet infrastructure from foreign attacks is a good thing, but there's a lot here that seems like a grab for power -- and the ability to more closely gather and monitor data.

The fact that government networks and security of government computers is a mess is one issue, but it shouldn't be mixed in with private companies protecting their own data. The two issues should be tackled separately. If the government needs to fix its own computer network and security policies, that seems like a reasonable job for the national CIO that Obama has indicated is a part of his plan, rather than a separate cybersecurity policy.

Filed Under: cybersecurity, national policy


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  1. identicon
    Pierre, 9 Dec 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Definitions don't hurt

    I've not read the report in question, so maybe I'm missing some big pieces here, but Masnick's complaint cites the existence of a new "data warrant", and then goes on to state that it looks like a power grab.

    I consistently notice that many people have problems adapting old concepts of property and space to the new information-based world - reference the continued (and correct) postings about using free to drive market demand.

    Isn't this just a way for the gov't to recognize that, when it is seizing hard drives, it is not the actual hard drive that is being targeted, but the data it contains? I think it is better for the government to get warrants for the things they actually want, rather than something that contains it?

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