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Deliberation of "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace" 226

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the virtual-town-meetings dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Per the Federal Register the National Infastructure Advisory Council will have a public meeting (telephonically) from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST on 1/8/2003 to deliberate on the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. 'Written comments may be submitted at any time before or after the meeting.' Details can be found in text format or in PDF."
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Deliberation of "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace"

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  • How much? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iopha (626985)
    Yes, but how much does it cost for someone to actually read my proposal and take it seriously? iopha
  • Keep yer cool (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker (132337)
    The last thing these people need to hear are the psychotic ramblings of someone like RMS. Be polite and to the point, don't yell and scream about freedom and the GPL blah blah or you'll be passed off as a nutcase and lose for sure. Got it?

    • Re:Keep yer cool (Score:5, Interesting)

      by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmaiCHEETAHl.com minus cat> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:42PM (#4964026) Homepage
      Jesus christ, people..

      This is the second anti-RMS comment I've had to respond to in the past couple hours (first one [slashdot.org]).

      What the heck does this have to do with RMS? RMS talks about freedom of software. This isn't even related to him in the slightest.

      If you read the article, you'd see that the National Infrastructure Advisory Council "advises the President of the United States on the
      security of information systems for critical infrastructure supporting
      other sectors of the economy, including banking and finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and emergency government
      services." And while RMS might have feelings about this, software Freedom doesn't come in to play.

      I really wish bashing RMS wasn't so trendy on /. these days.
      • > I really wish bashing RMS wasn't so trendy on /. these days.

        yeah I am gonna be modded as OT for this. But there's no other story where we can ever get to comment on the /. moderation system, can we?

        I think /. mostly has a great system, but ends up making moderators out of people with certain viewpoints on certain topics. After that, for example, anyone bashing RMS in a completely OT way immediately gets a +5, funny or insightful; and an insightful on-topic pro-RMS post gets a +3 atmost, with the moderation breakup including several -1, Flamebaits..

        I like /. system, just wish it could be made better by eliminating biases of viewpoints as above.

        I wonder if this situation will rectify if the "main central moderators" will give up their "unlimited moderation" rights, cos i think that is the central "source" from which infinite moderation "emanates", leading to this setting of "favored viewpoints".

        • The problem is that the moderation system hasn't been improved or updated in years. There's nothing wrong with getting something wrong, Taco, but you ought to fix it when the flaws are pointed out to you.

          For starters, eliminating over/underrated (or at least passing them to M2), and making moderators accountable (let people see who has been moderating their posts) would be appreciated.
      • Have you ever actually interacted with RMS? I have. His methods and tactics are often obtrusive, annoying, and at times can be downright offensive. He's arrogant and rude, until you let him make his point. He will not relent until he gets his way. I mean, I agree with the guy most of the time, and I still want him to shut up.

        If you want to see the government start using open-source software, then rms is the last person you want near those discussions. The folks in the legislature will not tolerate his shenanigans for very long...

    • and sometimes nutcases have the right idea.
    • Re:Keep yer cool (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mshiltonj (220311)
      ...don't yell and scream about freedom...

      Well said, good sir. I say verily, that is the last thing should want from ourselves. We shant let it be known to our noble masters that freedom is a virtue and a right that we hold dear to our hearts, and desire to proclaim it loudly from deep within our souls. Would that it be known, we should be condemned as insurgent heretics, and should rightly be burned at the stake, with the witches and basphemers.

      Perhaps we would better let it be known what we desire if we lay prostrate before his excellency and humbly beg for his mercy.

      -------------
      On an entirely different note...

      Bush revises the Bill Of Rights. [theonion.com]
      Fact or Fiction? Hard to tell, isn't it?
  • my hopes... (Score:3, Informative)

    by small_dick (127697) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:33PM (#4963987)
    Something like a condom or shield over comms coming into the USA or going out...and MORE freedom under the shield (USUS) communications.

    Please let there be some tattered shred of freedom to hang onto...it's terrible about 911 but there have been worse death counts in history with no enemy to fight...the "Death Fog" in London (1952?) comes to mind.
    • Re:my hopes... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      it's terrible about 911 but there have been worse death counts in history with no enemy to fight...the "Death Fog" in London (1952?) comes to mind.


      That's a bit of an understatement. About 4000 died in the 1952 smog in London. Note it was a smog not fog, so there was an enemy (the factories, buses, etc) Here [metoffice.com] for more info.

      The Black Death might have been a better example. We are talking 75 MILLION people dying there.
      Take a look here [geocities.com] to put things in perspective.
      • I disagree with your comment in it's entirety.

        1) About 12,000 people died due to London's "Death Fog" of 1952.

        2) The term "Smog" was coined much later than 1952, and most all reference materials refer to the 1952 incident as a "Death" or "Killer" fog.

        3) The factories and buses were not an "enemy"--they did not "plan" an attack. Indeed, it was the common practice of burning cheap, soft coal (later outlawed) for warmth in the unusually cold winter that exacerbated the death count. Once again, no premeditative enemy.

        To somehow compare a plague, which often takes many months to run its cycle, to the high, rapid death counts of 911 and the "Death Fog" does not seem an appropriate example at all.
  • I have to say, it sounds like a wonderful thing, and we can even make suggestions - the National Infastructure Advisory Council must love us!

    (Does National and Internet go together... I smell fish!)
    • Someday the government is going to have to figure out that the Internet is like the oceans - it's VERY hard to sit out in the vast expanse and try to draw chalklines. :)
    • by MrLint (519792)
      IMO the best place to start for 'securing' 'cyberspace' is to codifythe common sense notion that you have right to control all traffic in and out of your network. This may seems small and obivoius but it has some far reaching consequences. For one thing it means that if you want to block spam from coming to your network you can do that.. and the spammers can whine about "hampering trade" foofah. You dont want your info to go out? Well youhave the right to stop any/all/none of your traffic, to any/all/no hosts on the internet. This concept also increases your privacy. Until this comon sense idea is codified its subject to erosion by sources of big money

      I hope that once this idea takes hold bright programmers will see an oppertunity tomake products that can help the everyday grandma exercise the right to control your computer/network.
      • if that applies to the backbone carriers then the internet is dead. The government or a large international corporation will soon control everything we see and hear...err wait that happened 10 years ago...sorry move along nothing to see or hear here....
  • opinions: (Score:5, Funny)

    by SHEENmaster (581283) <(travis) (at) (utk.edu)> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:40PM (#4964016) Homepage Journal
    Libertarian: Leave cyberspace alone.
    Linux: Leave cyberspace alone.
    /.: Leave cyberspace the fuck alone.

    Conclusion? "Cyberspace" isn't under anyone's control because it can't be bought, sold, or bribed.
    U.S. law on the other hand, can be bought and sold like trading cards.
  • by buss_error (142273) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:41PM (#4964024) Homepage Journal
    I was listening to NPR a few days ago (YES, I am a libral. That means I don't want to see your kids starve just because you are a crack head or kick the bucket.) and they were talking about centerlizing main internet exchanges to "protect them from terrorists." Now, I thought that odd, because the Internet was originally designed decenteralized to avoid any one node being knocked out (by nuke) and cutting off those not vaporized.

    So I asked myself, how can centerlizing the internet prevent terrorists from taking out large chunks of the system? Answer: It can't, and in fact makes it easier to do so. But it does make intercepting e-mail much easier.... Ahh. That's the REAL answer.

    • Great idea! Let's put the whole Internet in a single gigantic building (on US soil of course, after all this was Gore's invention). Then people would have to drive there, sign in with two forms of identification and a DNA sample, and be monitored by security guards and vicious dogs during their visit. (And anyone wearing a strap-on (dynamite, that is) would NOT be welcome.


    • Now, I thought that odd, because the Internet was originally designed decenteralized to avoid any one node being knocked out (by nuke) and cutting off those not vaporized.


      Military actions tend to lack the longstanding effectiveness of financial ones.

      Its my impression that the market and consolidation within the telecom industry has created a large amount of Internet backbone centralization over the years. Thus, the worry over Worldcom.
    • by GGardner (97375) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:00PM (#4964125)
      the Internet was originally designed decenteralized to avoid any one node being knocked out (by nuke) and cutting off those not vaporized

      I would like to propose a corollary to Godwin's law: In any online thread, any mention about how the Internet was designed to survive nuclear attack immediately terminates that thread.

      • by Ellen Ripley (221395) <ellen@britomartis.net> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:36PM (#4964273) Journal
        ... any mention about how the Internet was designed to survive nuclear attack immediately terminates that thread.

        550 THREADTERM (nuclear)
        223 DETECT THREADTERM (nuclear)
        224 ACK THREADTERM (nuclear)
        227 REROUTING TO ALTERNATE THREAD SERVER
      • Looks like!

        Interesting though, how often the cannard gets repeated (even by me), and how it appears not be be completely true. Look how that fire in the tunnel in the N.E. slowed down MAE East and connections through them. It should have re-routed (and did, but not very well according to reports I read) and folk shouldn't have noticed. They did notice. Point being that perhaps re-routing around major damage isn't working as well as could be hoped?

        • Perhaps we should remember that architecture and implementation are two different things. What the Internet was designed for, and how we have implemented it can be two very different things. Don't forget that it was also designed as an 'end-to-end' dumb (dumb in the good sense) transport, and there are very powerful (and rich) forces that want to change that to make it smart and preferential.
  • *Ahem* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:44PM (#4964033)
    Attention American Government Officials:

    The internet is not on American soil and will never belong to any goverment, neither will you ever have the jurisdiction to secure it.

    Trying to Secure the internet is futile. The internet was never created to be regulated or controlled rather, allowed to evolve free of the contraints of the non-virtual world.

    So... I suggest the following.

    1 - Remove your heads from your asses.
    2 - Concentrate on your own Nation's concerns, like the economy, and social issues.
    3 - Stop invading not only your own citizen privacy but the rest of the worlds.

    Thankyou for your time.
    • Re:*Ahem* (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rufusdufus (450462) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:23PM (#4964215)
      The internet was created by the United States Department of Defense. So trying to tell them what it was created for is a little bit silly.

      What it has become in recent years is certainly quite different from what the inventors intended.

      • Really? I thought it was Gore... oh well.
        • Really? I thought it was Gore... oh well.
          Maybe you should read this: http://www.politechbot.com/p-01394.html [politechbot.com]
        • by Nazmun (590998) on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:25AM (#4964611) Homepage
          I know you meant it as a joke but the statement Gore made related to the internet and his involvement in it is completely true. He did NOT say he invented the internet and believe me when i say that there is a good chance if he did not do what he did, you wouldn't be posting on slashdot now. Infact the internet would probably not have come so far had it not been for Gore.

          The following is from Vint Cerf, if you don't know who he is then you really shouldn't have ever bashed gore:

          "As Vice President Gore promoted building the Internet both up and out, as well as releasing the Internet from the control of the government agencies that spawned it. He served as the major administration proponent for continued investment in advanced computing and networking and private sector initiatives such as Net Day. He was and is a strong proponent of extending access to the network to schools and libraries. Today, approximately 95% of our nation's schools are on the Internet. Gore provided much-needed political support for the speedy privatization of the Internet when the time arrived for it to become a commercially-driven operation."
      • > The internet was created by the United
        > States Department of Defense.

        Actually that is not true.
        The government created a network called Arpanet, which they deemed not quite what they were looking for, and so they sold it off. Upon selling it to comercial interests, it was called the Internet.

        So no, the government only created the network that was to become the Internet. What they actually created was the Arpanet.

        The point is, they gave it away.
        They sold it to comercial companys and at that moment sold their right to have any say so what so ever about what was to happen to it.

        If they cared so much for it, they should have kept it to themselfs or ran it themselfs, in which case the Internet would not exist, we would be using the Arpanet.


        • > The internet was created by the United
          > States Department of Defense.

          Actually that is not true.


          NO! Actually, that is true. The origin of something is the origin. You CANNOT CHANGE THAT. Yes, it was sold off. But its origin is fact. The beginnings of the internet were created by the US military, trying to split hairs on when it became a different type of network is ridiculous.

          Stop trying to put an anti-US spin on everything, you nutters.

          I don't hate your differences as much as trying revisionist history, so shut the hell up.

          • > I don't hate your differences as much as trying
            > revisionist history, so shut the hell up.

            When the subject is "we created it so we get to say what is done with it" and the fact is they created it and sold it off, they have no say so, no matter what you say.

            If you create anything, and fucking SELL IT, you lose the right to say what can and cant be done with it in any nation in the world.

            Try joining the rules of our planet for a change
    • Re:*Ahem* (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      Attention American Government Officials: ...

      1 - Remove your heads from your asses.


      That is asking WAYYYYY too much from any of our government officials.

      The only person in government that I had ANY respect for was Gov. Jesse Ventura. he was the most HONEST politician this country has had in over 100 years. and the only one with balls and knows how to use them...
    • Re:*Ahem* (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poot_rootbeer (188613)
      The internet is not on American soil and will never belong to any goverment, neither will you ever have the jurisdiction to secure it.

      Maybe not, but there are many, many thousands of computers on the internet that ARE on American soil, and the US government could justifiably have the jurisdiction to secure THEM.

      The internet was never created to be regulated or controlled rather, allowed to evolve free of the contraints of the non-virtual world.

      That's hippie bullshit. The internet allows people who are not geographically proximate to cooperate and share resources with each other. Period. There's no utopian fantasy involved.

      2 - Concentrate on your own Nation's concerns, like the economy, and social issues.

      I'm assuming from the tone of your post that you are not a US citizen.

      Why don't you shut the fuck up then and concentrate on YOUR own nation's concerns, rather than criticizing my country for things it hasn't even done yet? Asshole.

  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `reggoh.gip'> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:44PM (#4964037) Journal
    After all, how much more it will cost to track and keep every single goddammed fucking packet flying on the #matrix#??? Surely twice as much as it would cost to implement the same current infrasture another time...
  • by rufusdufus (450462) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:47PM (#4964055)
    My understanding is that what they want to do is require or ISPs to monitor all users and give all information to the goverment.

    Isnt this basically impossible? First off, the bandwidth requirements alone would make the process unfeasable. The whole reason the internet is a called a network and not a bus is that the information is distributed. This distribution is what makes the internet possible. Funneling all the information into centralized locations would violate the network topology.

    Next, many ISPs are not registered or licenced to be ISPs. What defines an ISP? Does my wi-fi count? Policing this would a complete farce, especially with freedom advocates taking every opportunity to bypass and befuddle the law.

    Next, any terrorists/criminal would start using (if they are not already using) at least simple encryption which would not generally be detectible by monitoring bots. The amount of effort to avoid even the most sophisticated monitoring would be quite small.

    Also, if all this data were stored up in some central location, wouldnt that be the best place for hackers to crack to get vast amounts of info? Has anyone ever made an uncrackable system connected to the public networks?

    • I believe that what they are talking about is the backbone, the top of the "upstream" as it were. The only problem with this is that the people that they want to watch could get arount this in quite a variety of ways. The encryption is only one. If I were them, I'd set up some relays over old POT(s) lines similar as to what was done in the BBS days.

      And as far as the "Keeping your eggs in one basket" thing, that's been done [securityfocus.com], from the inside yet.

      • Enter SPEWS, who blocks that entire backbone because spammers live on it.

        Great. No more e-mail from the U.S. for me. Oh well, not really a loss, since I'm European.

        So, fellow Europeans and non-USians, care to set up a global network of our own? Or should we just cut those crummy trans atlantic and pacific cables so they really _are_ isolated.

        (yes, this is tongue somewhat planted in cheek. get over it)

      • by billstewart (78916) on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:40AM (#4964641) Journal
        A long time ago, when the Internet was still the Arpanet, there was a backbone, because that was the easiest way for different routers to find each other, though there was sometimes other connectivity in local areas - not the kind of thing that could actually survive a nuclear war or even a well-planned collection of car bombs, despite all the theory about being able to route around damage. The current commercially-run internet doesn't have a backbone, and there's vastly more diversity. Depending on who's gone Chapter 11 this week, there are one or two dozen big "Tier 1" ISPs that carry the bulk of the traffic in the US and from the US to Europe and Asia. Most people are familiar with the big peering points like MAE-West and MAE-East, but in practice somewhere between 95-99% of the traffic between the Tier 1 ISPs is carried on private peering connections, though most of those are in the same cities as the big exchange points. I'm not sure how much of Europe's traffic is dependent on LINX and AMSIX, and while KPN-Qwest may have carried about 1/3 of Europe's traffic before its bankruptcy, it's dead now, with the traffic moved to other carriers. Asia seems to be a lot less centralized, except for the Great Firewall of China.

        An important part of network design is understanding what traffic is going to "nearby" locations, and designing things so most traffic stays local and doesn't use expensive or scarce facilities - things like putting big hulking routers in San Francisco and San Jose so traffic between Silicon Valley companies stays in the South Bay and Multimedia Gulch companies stays in the City without needing to use too much bandwidth around the Bay, much less sending copies of all of it on three-part-carbon forms to NSA's Fort Meade, Ashcroft's J. Edgar Hoover building, and Dick Cheney's stockbroker before delivering it.

        That doesn't mean that there weren't rumors from reputable sources a few years ago about active wiretaps on MAE-West sending extra copies of some packets to somebody else, or that the Russian renamed-KGB's 1998ish SORM [dfn.org] (another URL) [libertarium.ru] project didn't try to force Russian ISPs to build a full-sized wiretap feed to them (at the ISPs' expense, of course) or that there aren't Eurocrats [heise.de] trying to do the same thing in their countries today. And then there's the whole Echelon Wiretapping System [echelonwatch.org]. But it's still impractical for them to force ISPs to deliver everything everybody's reading or emailing, though I'll be happy to send them copies of most of my spam if they'd like.

        On the other hand, the publicly-accessible parts of the web aren't all that big. The Wayback Machine [archive.org] has a copy of all of it, with reasonable samples going back a long time, and Google [google.com] and the other search engines crawl it periodically, and AllTheWeb.com [alltheweb.com] presumably claims to have All The Web.

    • Since when did something being impossible stop a goverment agency? It's all about making people 'feel' safer. If, as a side effect, it makes the people safer that is OK also...
    • I believe Yahoo, back in the 'net boom days, declared itself unhackable, about a week before it was knocked offline for a few hours from a DoS attack.

      And by the way, what would happen if you DoS attacked this central uber server? If all traffic is routed through it, wouldn't that in theory turn the internet, or at least the portion controled (having traffic flow through it) by it, turn off?
  • by dillon_rinker (17944) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:48PM (#4964066) Homepage
    ...it is first necessary to secure the operating system that most frequently is connected to it, ie Windows. There's little point in securing every non-Windows server (or even every server, Windows or not) if an insecure client platform (read: Windows + IE + Outlook) permits a small group of individuals to own enough client PCs to DOS the root servers. Or the 50 largest e-commerce sites. Or the most popular intercontinental routers. This is feasible NOW; all it needs is a determined, intelligent adversary (China, perhaps?). Even scarier is the possibility that there will be intelligent use of DOS attacks (hijacking of presumed secure connections, perhaps), but I'd rather not consider that while sober.

    • it is first necessary to secure the operating system that most frequently is connected to it, ie Windows.

      Since Windows' creator, Microsoft, has shown themselves incapable of making progress in this regard even after a year's concerted effort, why would anyone think the U.S. government stands a chance?

      Such D.O.S. attacks as the parent post mentions are common, even if not visible, and will likely continue to be.

  • mirror (Score:2, Interesting)

    by risk-dev (246265)
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

    Bureau of Industry and Security

    National Infrastructure Advisory Council; Notice of Open Meeting

    The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will meet on
    Wednesday, January 8, 2003, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. EST. The meeting,
    which will be held telephonically, will be open to the public. Members
    of the public interested in attending by telephone should call (toll
    free) 1-899-7785 or (toll) 1-913-312-4169 and, when prompted, enter
    pass code 1468517.
    The Council advises the President of the United States on the
    security of information systems for critical infrastructure supporting
    other sectors of the economy, including banking and finance,
    transportation, energy, manufacturing, and emergency government
    services. At this meeting, the Council will continue its deliberations
    on comments to be delivered to President Bush concerning the draft
    National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

    Agenda

    I. Opening of meeting and roll call: John Tritak, Director, Critical
    Infrastructure Assurance Office/Designated Federal Officer, NIAC
    II. Opening remarks: Richard Clarke, Special Advisor to the President
    for Cyperspace Security/Executive Director, NIAC; Richard Davidson,
    Chairman, NIAC; and John Chambers, Vice Chairman, NIAC
    III. Presentation of draft Comments document: Mr. Davidson
    IV. Discussion and adoption of Comments: NIAC Members
    V. Discussion of next steps/timeline for publication and delivery of
    document: NIAC Members
    VI. Adjournment

    Written comments may be submitted at any time before or after the
    meeting. However, to facilitate distribution of public presentation
    materials to Council members, the Council suggests that presenters
    forward the public presentation materials, ten days prior to the
    meeting date, to the following address: Ms. Wanda Rose, Critical
    Infrastructure Assurance Office, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S.
    Department of Commerce, Room 6095, 14th Street & Constitution Avenue,
    NW., Washington, DC 20230.
    For more information contact Wanda Rose on (202) 482-7481.

    Dated: December 19, 2002.
    Eric T. Werner,
    Council Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 02-32435 Filed 12-23-02; 8:45 am]
  • by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:52PM (#4964089) Homepage Journal
    For the few (many?) of us that dont have free time during those hours to listen in?

    Should be simple enough with some simple serial software, a modem, and some low-end sound recording software?

    yes/no? =)

  • Good move by gov't (Score:3, Informative)

    by SixDimensionalArray (604334) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:54PM (#4964095)
    I usually object to government interference, but for once I think they're really on track here. If you read the draft document, available here [whitehouse.gov], you'll see that the government really wants to keep its hands off as much as possible, but also realizes the fundamental need for central control for security.

    It's nice to see they also want to work with a strong public/private partnership, not solely one with private organizations. I'll try and be listening in for sure!
    • SixDimensionalArray has provided a good resource - read it before the knee jerk reations reach your fingertips. The wakeup call for this is allged to be NIMDA, which infects 'computers'. It would be useful to remind the authors of this paper that it infects Windows computers. Linux can be more secure than this, but it is not a complete solution. Simply encuraging a polygot of OS's will help. Monoculture (in OS or an ecosystem) & inbreeding (restricting evolution in OS to one town, say Redmond) lead to weaker systems. Mutts dominate in nature - purebreads are weak. We need to support Linux, Windows, BSD's and others to make a healthier Internet.
    • Good move? They actually think they can deliberate the whole future of "cyberspace" in two hours?

      sounds ike a bullshit meeting to me.

  • by El Camino SS (264212) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:54PM (#4964096)

    "There really is only one way to secure cyberspace as we know it. We need to create in secret an army of clones to protect us from all of our enemies."

    -AZ Sen. James Palpatine (D)

  • Will this be the first time the slashdot effect has effected a conference call provider? Details?
    • Will this be the first time the slashdot effect has effected [sic] a conference call provider? Details?

      Just think of the Slashdot effect as a BIG conference call, with the unwitting host acting as a hub for all the callers...
  • I claim... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I claim ze internet in ze name of Fronce! Viva La Fronce!

    [I'm aware that this is a US initiative. France just sounded funnier.]
  • by zachusaf (540628) <zachary...thompson@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 26, 2002 @09:58PM (#4964118) Homepage
    I think we're missing the point here. Taken from the article: "Council advises the President of the United States on the security of information systems for critical infrastructure supporting other sectors of the economy, including banking and finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and emergency government services." They aren't trying to control cyberspace, or take away your privacy. (just yet....)What they are trying to do, however, is secure networks critical to the national infrastructure(ie banking systems, etc). Easy fellas......
    • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:16PM (#4964192) Homepage Journal

      Banks run on private networks like SWIFT, not on the internet. Your personal account might have some kind of web access, but not the intra-bank network.

      The same goes for any large enterprise that gives a damn about their security and reliability. The internet is unreliable, insecure, and can never be anything but by the very nature of it's design. (Note: fault resilience such as rerouting around failed nodes is not the same thing as fault tolerant -- the segments behind the failed node are still unreachable.)

      When you say they "aren't trying to control cyberspace", I just have these visions of the founding fathers of the US inscribing "the right to bear arms" with the intent of allowing the country to defend itself, and the modern twisting of those words to justify possession and use of assault weapons and handguns far beyond the defense of a nation.

      I look at the "temporary" income taxes that were to pay for war costs, which are still in place and increasing.

      I look at the insanity of a "War on Drugs" that destroys the careers of hundreds of thousands of people for smoking a joint, while the death toll on the highways and roads due to "legal" drunk drivers continues.

      I look at Hollings & co. selling out to the entertainment industry, even though it damages an IT industry worth many times that amount to the nation.

      Trust them? Sure, I trust them. I trust them to steal my income, invade my privacy, interfere with my life, and ignore our objections to what is rapidly becoming a police state.

      Thank God I'm getting out of this screwed up country in a few days. Maybe in a few years after the American people have revolted against the insanity it will be safe to come back with the expectation of being allowed to live without excess interference from a corporate-run government.

      • Well.. Banks really run on for all intensive purposes "Virtually Private Networks". But if you view the internet running to the end of every phone line, because all the internet is, is a web of communication, that runs to every piece of copper/fiber into your home, business, school.

        We are all on one big network, and for all intensive purposes, it is the internet. Banks, Businesses, and just about everybody with a telco grade circuit runs Frame Relay or ATM, on top of the various telco's networks.

        We can only hope that they don't take this too seriously, because literly, if they wanted to protect the real world from cyber space, then it is time to send the gastapo with wire cutters to cut everybody's phone, cable, and power connection to send us back into the stone age. What people in political circles fail to realise is that the internet is not just US Centric, it is global, and what laws they put into effect have repercussions all over the world.
        • by msobkow (48369)

          The backbone providers are not the internet. They provide dedicated, optionally secure, and optionally fault-tolerant data links.

          The internet may or may not use fibre that is strung in parallel with those links (i.e. part of the same bundle), but it does not run on the same physical fibre. I've worked on a provisioning system that is used to manage those resources, and the "internet" is miniscule compared to the number of links that are managed for private business and government.

          Want to take out those links? Go to isolated spots along certain railway tracks, highways, and other infrastructure where the physical fiber is run. Cut the fibre or plant a bomb. Goodbye several petabytes of capacity until someone can find the breach and fix it. How did any of the government proposals even try to prevent the damage from happening?

          "Security" has never been anything but a smokescreen to justify increased power in the hands of a few, and anyone who thinks they are "secure" just happens to be naive enough to believe them.

          The worst "terrorism" we have to fear in North America is from our own governments. Not to offend anyone who lost friends or family in the WTC on 9/11, but more people than that are killed every year by terrorists in many countries, without having led to knee-jerk police state behavior.

          Don't believe me?

          Look at the current crop of anti-drug ads in the US. Blatant lies and FUD -- most marijuana is grown in North America by North Americans who keep their assets in North America and spend most of the profits in (you guessed it!) North America. Heroin and Opium might be another story, but that isn't what the government is trying to convince everyone, because it wouldn't make people as nervous (everyone knows at least one pot smoker, but how many of you know heroin users?)

          Do some checking and find out how many innocent people have been killed by government agents (police SWAT teams) raiding the wrong house. Look into the number of people currently being held because they immigrated from the wrong nation, or because their second cousin has a friend who knows a guy who claimed to be with Al Queda. Ask someone of Japanese descent how much more "secure" they felt for being imprisoned until the war was over.

          • I agree with you, and you kind of understand my point. My point really is, and i'm guessing i'm asking a lot of slashdot readers to try and figure it out, is that the internet, is only logically, only as secure as the local telco phone switch.

            Backbone providers in some cases have their own fiber, but most of the time, it's the telco that has the fiber, because it was cheap for them to put it in (goverment paid for it to be put in).

            In all honesty, your ranting is not what is necessary to convince members of our goverment, nor is stats of the past. What is needed is a convincing, why/why not argument. Reality is, that what is needed is that we need to reform things from inside the goverment outward, so what we must do is direct this agency to the reality, and try to convince them that they can't really do anything for the private sector, but they have things that they can do for the goverment, that will filter into the private sector and encourage good, responsable behaviour regarding technology.
            • Backbone providers typically lease their fibre from larger providers, including certain telcos. Other large companies actually own their own fibre (I believe it's IBM that has such fibre running across northern Canada to provide a physically seperate link from their main fibre in the US.)

              Most telcos lease their fibre, too. Only a few big providers like AT&T, MCI, and a few others actually own their fibre. (There are a couple companies that run huge cross-US fibre, but I can't remember the name off hand. One might be Inktomi, but that doesn't sound right for some reason.)

              My rant was never intended to change the way the government acts, but to respond to the poster who claimed the Slashdot crowd is "overreacting." I really don't believe anything short of revolution will fix the governments in the US or Canada anymore, because they just don't give a damn what thinking citizens want. They just want their "share" of the tax trough, or else get trampled by the trough-feeders if they do try to support the rights and wishes of the people.

              I don't advocate violence, but it is really going to take a major upheaval to wake the deadbeats in Washington and Ottawa up.

              • This is slashdot, over reacting is part of the job description of it's visitors. Well, I don't know about in canada, but in the US, we have a major upheval every 2-6 years.
                • If the US system produces such "major upheavals" at election time, how can you explain humanoids like Hollings? Was there truly no one better deserving of the people's vote than these sellouts?

                  Most Canadians have no illusion that things will change after an election. A new party will come in, a few new faces will get key posts, the "advisors" and civil servants will continue making most of the decisions on behalf of the talking heads who get the media coverage, and the government will continue stealing income through taxes until Canada becomes a third-world nation. (Hell, it's damned close already. Over 60% of my university associates are programmers, teachers, union members, etc. They've also had to declare bankruptcy because they can't afford to live on the half of their salary the government "lets" them keep.)

                  I've really lost hope that anything short of another revolution has any hope of getting their attention. EMails? They don't read them. Snail mail? Staff read and discard them, except for a choice few that can provide a sound bite. TV? Can't afford it, if you can even find a network that is willing to present dissenting views. Print? Same issue as TV, except for the cost.

                  Want real change? Hire an assasin. Seriously. Some fringe group of lunatics stating their case and then taking out a few key political figures is probably the only thing that will wake those in power to the fact that the people are the nation, and that pissing them off decade after decade is a really bad thing to do.

                  (No, I don't advocate violence. I'm just at a loss as to what can be done to save our nations from our politicians/corporations and get them back to serving the people.)

                  • Want real change? Hire an assasin.

                    Is that you Jim Bell [antioffline.com]? :-)

                    I'm just at a loss as to what can be done to save our nations from our politicians/corporations and get them back to serving the people.

                    The best answer I've got is: hold on just a few more painful decades for the technology revolution (which I needn't name) that will make nations irrelevant.

                    --

      • assault weapons and handguns far beyond the defense of a nation
        I don't know what rock you crawled out from under, but if you plan to defend your nation with anything *but* assault weapons and handguns, then you can move to another nation and try to defend it with whatever rocks and sticks whiny liberal jackasses like you think constitute "arms".
        • The military and police have those weapons, as approved by the constitution. You will never convince me that a 30-round assault rifle (automatic or not) has any business anywhere except in the military, the police, or a licensed, registered collector. By the time anyone gets close enough to US soil for you to use your "personal protection" weapons, the war is already lost.

          If the trillions of dollars worth of military personnel, nukes, missiles, air craft, naval armadas, subs, and satellites aren't enough to keep out "the enemy", what makes you think some guy with an assault rifle is going to make a damned bit of difference?

          Don't get me wrong -- I like guns. Target shooting with a Sig is an absolute gas, venison brought down by a skilled hunter is damned tasty, and I've used them many times for butchering pigs or cattle. I just think they have their uses and their place, and assault rifles in the home isn't one of them.

          • If the trillions of dollars worth of military personnel, nukes, missiles, air craft, naval armadas, subs, and satellites aren't enough to keep out "the enemy", what makes you think some guy with an assault rifle is going to make a damned bit of difference?


            The article in question reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."


            I've always considered "the enemy" that threatens the "security of a free state" to be internal, as opposed to crime. As to what compromises militia, the courts have ruled:


            The significance of the militia, the Court continued, was that it was composed of ''civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.'' It was upon this force that the States could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that ''comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,'' who, ''when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.''6 Therefore, ''[i]n the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well- regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.''


            So call me nutty, but the constitution protects my right to own a weapon, for militaristic use, to defend the country against enemies, domestic or foreign, that threaten the freedom of the country. It's a democratic failsafe against government.

            • For a clear and informed argument. Most of the pro-gun people I've run into tend to be fringe lunatics that I wouldn't trust with a butter knife, much less an assault rifle.

              I still think it's over before your home armoury can do any good. *g*

            • the constitution protects my right to own a weapon, for militaristic use, to defend the country against enemies, domestic or foreign, that threaten the freedom of the country. It's a democratic failsafe against government.

              OK then, so how did these weapons protect you from the corrupt and freedom bashing stuff going on in Washington? I'm not trolling, I genuinely believe that that part of the constitution is completely outdated. Owning a gun may have protected your freedom in the old west, but nowadays you'll just end up like the people in Waco should you decide to take up arms.

              Most successful revolts/revolutions and protests have been non-violent, certainally in recent times anyway.

            • for militaristic use, to defend the country against enemies, domestic or foreign, that threaten the freedom of the country. It's a democratic failsafe against government.

              And suppose you believe the government the government has tripped that failsafe. What are you going to do? Start shooting cops? Shoot the president? After gunning you down or capturing and executing you the government would simply start a propoganda campaign against you and everyone who shared your opinions. Your life would end, and you would provide them the perfect excuse to hunt down everyone else who shared your opinions. In short you would become the next Al Queda. They've even got the perfect term to use in any propoganda war they choose to start, and use it atleast 13 times in every sentence when they're trying to convince the lemmings (read: majority) in this country that something is a Good Idea, you know the term I mean. The fact is your gun doesn't protect jackshit, and we're at their mercy if they ever decide democracy went out of style. The true failsafe is that there are a whole lot of people in positions of power and it would take the colaboration and secrecy of an enormous number of them to orchestrate any sort of legal or organized undermining of the goverment (remind anyone else of political parties?). Think of the government as a kind of internet: a few nodes go bad now and then, hopefully we can still route around them, and they don't take too many others down with them.

              And for all the "external enemy" types: The constitution was written in a time before stategic aerial bombardment, thermonuclear weapons, ICBMs, and MIRVs. Anyone without military training and sophisticated weapons equipment can't make a damned bit of difference in a real war against a real military. When the constitution was written, they could. I challenge you to defend yourself against an incoming cruise missile with your assault rifle. Don't think the enemy will be stupid enough to send in troops for you to whack until he's glassed your city one or twice from several thousand miles away.
      • Don't roll out yet (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dalcius (587481)
        The US has it's downsides. Certain powers are getting out of hand. But realize that we also have a lot of checks to these powers.

        For instance, a few months ago, the judicial dept. made a small grunt and sort of woke up out of the post 9/11 slumber to call the guvment's handling of suspected terrorists unconstitutional. IIRC, three district judges denounced the administration's actions and called for change.

        In short, we have a design of checks and balances in this country to help ensure that no groups gets too powerful.

        The only thing we're missing today is an informed populace. Most folks make decent dicisions, given the proper information, but the trouble is, almost no Americans have it. Our lives are care-free, and we like it that way. As long as we can eat our Big Macs and idly bitch about other dumb people, we'll roll over to anyone.

        Bush or someone will take it too far, and the pendulum will swing back, eventually. This country is too well founded and the people too (thankfully) brainwashed into holding freedom dear to turn into a Nazi-like state.

        Just don't be a minority and you're ok.
      • Good riddens (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nurb432 (527695)
        You are leaving the country soon? Good. you are whiner and are not contributing to any solution.

        Sure things aren't perfect, but that doesn't mean you should not try to attack the issues you can reasonably expect results with. Only so many resources are available, so pick the battles with the most reasonable chance of success first.

        For the record we DID try to police alcohol once..

        Nor is the US perfect, but we are still the best damned country out there.

        And what the hell does cyberspace have to do with the 2nd amendment? Which btw you have totally wrong.. it was about the rights of the INDIVIDUAL to bear arms to protect ones self.. the preface of the entire constitution was based on individual rights and governmental RESTRICTIONS. It had little to do with the rights of a government..

        Though I also disagree with their plans to regulate data traffic @ the backbone level, due to individual privacy issues and implied regulation of free-speech. Things that are also in OUR constitutional bill of rights which you seem to have a dis-taste for..

        Go back to your socialist country and stay.

        Oh, and don't cry for assistance later, as most every other country has done, after bashing the US.. we are bad.. so bad, until you need us.. screw off.

  • by squarefish (561836) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @10:13PM (#4964171)
    I print this every day for my boss and find it easier to just look at them rather than try to use the search function on their page. You can find the listings here [gpo.gov]. of course next week you'll just change the 2 in the url to a 3. we are usually searching for grant opportunities- this looks pretty interesting, I think I'll have to start looking for similar items.
  • Step 1: Create .kids.us domain to protect the children.
    Step 2: Create a "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace".
    Step 3: Centralize the Internet.
    Step 4: ? (InterNIC)
    Step 5: Profit!
  • The truth in that the people who create these committies don't know what the fuck they are talking about. If they were any less clueless they wouldn't be having this discussion.
  • Members of the public interested in attending by telephone should call (toll free) 1-899-7785 or (toll) 1-913-312-4169

    Huh?????

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 26, 2002 @11:09PM (#4964370) Homepage
    The new APPROVED United States Internet that all good citizens will use.. We will call it Americans Over Liberty or AOL for short. every good american will log into AOL and avoid that evil and unrestricted internet... because if you want information theway you want it you must be a terrorist right? well on the new AOL they will introduce a new system called Internment Management. all your communications are to be sent through the AOL IM client for approval by the AOL police before being sent along...

    also all good citizens will get good clean approve advertisments every time they log in....

  • oh I miss read it ..

    now it probably will get ignored..

  • by billstewart (78916) on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:03AM (#4964554) Journal
    When the government talks about securing something, they don't mean the same things that your or I would mean.
    • The Air Force's definition is "Write a purchase order to buy one."
    • The Navy's definition is "Tie it down so it doesn't roll or bounce around."
    • The Marines' definition is "Machine-gun it and post an armed guard once you're sure they're all dead."
    They've already got their own Milnet, so they're not trying for the Air Force approach....
  • by chipwich (131556) on Friday December 27, 2002 @12:17AM (#4964592)
    The US was founded on the recognition that all governments tend, sooner or later, to oppress their citizens. Thus, the only government which wouldn't be oppressive is one that is of, by, and for its citizens ("the people").

    We're at a pretty critical crossroads now, where the rights of large organizations (corporate and governmental) are at a precarious balance with the rights of individual citizens. In particular, democracy coming into direct conflict with safety, and, in other arenas (such as intellectual property issues [eg, RIAA, MPAA]), clashing directly with capitalism.

    If the government feels that the best way to ensure safety is to prevent the unfettered, unmonitered flow of individuals, then one has to ask how true democracy can really be practiced.

    The "war on terrorism" threatens to turn us from a nation-of-rules to a nation-of-men. Once we entrust *any* group of people to regulate us with minimal checks and balances, then any sense of democracy will is doomed. I can't think of a better environment for abuse then monitoring virtually all electronic communications between private citizens.

    Imperfect security is the price we pay for our democratic ideals. This is a price I think most of us are willing to pay for our freedom.
    • by X1 (636796)
      That poses an interesting point. The trade of freedom for security happens on a variety of levels...but when it comes down to it... Most people are more than willing to make the trade.
  • Freedom and Safety (Score:2, Interesting)

    by valisk (622262)
    'They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.'

    Benjamin franklin.

    I admire and respect the US founding fathers, something not many Englishmen will admit to, they stood for something above the petty power politics and bowing down before powerful men.
    Looks like your current President and his administration have forgotten if indeed they ever understood how important those principals are.


  • First Reschedule
    This is important stuff. It neads to be covered on CNN, CSPAN, TECH TV, and PBS.

    Folks this is Bill of Rights material we are talking about, not some local option sales tax, or exemption of Church Vehicles from registration fees.

    The future of every person, every election, and every human rights effort in the United States and possibly the world rests in the balance.

    The removal of Ma Bell from monopoly status was an admission by the government, that concentration of power for commerce or monitoring is a bad thing (from a bill of rights view).

    The bogus initiative to 'secure' cyberspace has nothing to do with rights, freedom, or liberty and exceeds the constitutuional authority of the Federal Government.

    There are no provisions, allowances, or safeguards to insure any of the requirements of due process.
    In short, I'll repeat what I said before, Stalin would have loved this.
  • Don't shoot the horse if the cart is broken. This is what I, repeat, I need from the Internet: Assuming that I am not engaging in criminal activity, any data either sent or stored by should not be read in plain-text without my knowledge. (Those that are suspected of criminal activity should lose the above right only after exercising the due process of law currently in effect.) The vast majority of people, like me, view the Internet's biggest problem to be its lack of security during transactions. Most of the people think that the IP question is ranks right up there with abortion and affirmative action -- not on the to-do list today. Having work for Uncle Sam as a cryptologic technician for more than a few years, I know the technology exists to secure each and every transaction. The cost is, however, steep. The cost would include allowing government, or whomever is holding the "key", to have access on demand. *Cough*Hack* That is, apparently, a little tough to swallow for some folk. Until all conversations and transactions are absolutely secured, the Internet is merely an dim image of its potential. Happy New Year.
  • If it was China (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TXH-88 (636821)
    I think it's funny (and a bit scary) how if it was China that were enacting these measures America would be all over it and point out their stifling of freedom. However, there's not a word to be heard in the media when it's America doing it. So much for the free press.
  • It is time for the InternetII to take off. The feds should start building some of their own network, IP6 based, to take advantage of the security and QOS features.

    The increased demand will help private industry adopt it as well. And if the networks themselve are different than the current ones, that is good as well. Light up some dark fiber.

    Again, the use the original DOD Internet as the model.

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