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United States Government Privacy Security News IT

Bush Cyber Initiative Aims To Monitor, Restrict Access To Federal Network 120

dstates writes "Details of George Bush's Cyber Initiative are beginning to trickle out. The Cyber Initiative was created in January to secure government against electronic attacks. Newsweek says that over the next seven years, Bush's Cyber Initiative will spend as much as $30 billion to create a new monitoring system for all federal networks, a combined project of the DHS, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The U.S. government has launched a classified operation called Byzantine Foothold to detect, track, and disarm intrusions on the government's most critical networks. ComputerWorld reports that all data traffic flowing through agency networks will be checked, and that it will be inspected at a deeper level than the current system is capable of. BusinessWeek, meanwhile, reports that one requirement is to reduce the number of internet access points in the Federal Government from the thousands now in use to only 100 sites by June 2008. How this will impact public information resources such as the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine or even the US Congress remains to be seen."
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Bush Cyber Initiative Aims To Monitor, Restrict Access To Federal Network

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  • $30 billion? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by baudilus ( 665036 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:17AM (#23077064)
    Why is it that everything the government does costs so much more than what it would normally cost?

    Are they really itemizing hammers for $300, toilet seats for $1000? Are government contractors just taking us to the cleaners?

    Why does the public not have any say in where this money goes?
  • SlashBias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CogDissident ( 951207 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:17AM (#23077080)
    Well, from a network-security point of view, having fewer links to the web at large is actually a good thing, and things like this SHOULD be secured.

    Implying that simply because the departments arn't completely open to the internet in a thousand ways is a denial of freedom of information, is a huge leap.

    Granted, nobody trusts bush, and they shouldn't, as this is likely what he plans to do, but this part in particular is a good idea.
  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:19AM (#23077112)

    Why does the public not have any say in where this money goes?

    The public does have a say. Stop voting jackasses to power.
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:20AM (#23077124)
    instead of the more commoditized view of networking and security as two seperate entities, it might help.

    TCP/IP was never intended to be secure. It was intended to be flexible, robust and fault-tolerant. Security was not incorporated in the design of TCP/IP networks, save as a kludge attached after the fact. Fine for most of us; but if security is critical, I recommend using a different technology at the network level, one which incorporates security at the fundamental level. Since these networks should already be defined as "dark" networks, the potential for inter-network connectivity issues should not be a major consideration.

    Yes, DarpaNet is a remarkable invention - but it's the Model-T of the computing industry. Y'know how many guys got their arms broken by that bloody starter crank, before Henry F. incorporated a lead-acid battery and electric starting moter? Sure, the hand-crank works well enough, but it's time to come up with the next advancement, not to mandate more foam padding and other safety features for the arm-breaker.

  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:21AM (#23077136) Homepage

    The public does have a say. Stop voting jackasses to power.
    ...but if we didn't vote for our jackasses, the wrong jackasses might get in!
  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cryptodan ( 1098165 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:22AM (#23077146) Homepage
    You have to realize the magnitude of the US Federal Government internet foot print. You have to include all the ships in the US Navy, all the Army, Air Force, and Marine bases as well as Naval Bases. There are liaison offices, Embassy Offices, and other places. 30 Billion isnt that much for a network that big.
  • Re:SlashBias (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:23AM (#23077168) Homepage Journal
    No one implied a 'denial of freedom of information' except for you. Fewer access points might mean that public-facing government sites might have performance issues. Or it might not -- it depends on how they implemented it. That's all the summary said -- no one knows how the infrastructure changes will affect public-facing sites because no one knows the design and implementation details yet.
  • by the computer guy nex ( 916959 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:28AM (#23077222)

    Bush Cyber Initiative Aims To Monitor, Restrict Access to Federal Network

    This was obviously worded to stir the 'Left' trolling the comments.

    The article speaks of data lost to China last year due to hackers on the Government network. If our tax dollars should pay for anything, it should be national defense and to protect this data.
  • Finally on target (Score:4, Insightful)

    by booch ( 4157 ) * <slashdot2010.craigbuchek@com> on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:37AM (#23077352) Homepage
    I'm glad to see that the Bush administration is finally on target with their network monitoring. They've been monitoring innocent citizens on the open Internet for years now. Pretty amazing that they'd do that before bothering to secure their own networks.

    What's more amazing is that I'm still amazed by government stupidity and corruption.
  • Firewalls (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#23077402) Homepage Journal
    I hope classified data already runs on its own networks isolated from the Internet. Some unclassified but sensitive data, such as taxpayer and social security data, should be given the same treatment.

    When the technology allows for it, I expect most companies to do the same thing, limiting or eliminating access to their sensitive data from computers that have access to the Internet.

    As for data that is supposed to be public, read-only copies - perhaps made nearly in real time - must be accessible to the public. If someone manages to break security and trash a read-only copy, the original data remains uncorrupted.
  • by Peter Simpson ( 112887 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:43AM (#23077448)
    The White House can't even manage to back up their emails. How are they going to manage a "Cyber Initiative"?

    (whatever that is...I don't think I want to find out)

  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by That's Unpossible! ( 722232 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @10:55AM (#23077604)
    You're implying there are some non-jackasses to vote for.

    I have a better idea -- let's stop funding them.

    Whenever a Democrat tells me we need to raise taxes -- in whatever code words they are using at the time, be it increasing business taxes or "rolling back the Bush tax cuts" -- I love pointing out where all the money is currently wasted. (Almost everywhere it's spent.)

    Why on Earth would I want to give them more? On the contrary, if we give them less money, they will have less power.
  • by RNLockwood ( 224353 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:07AM (#23077760) Homepage
    Reduce access to 100 sites by June 2008? That must be a typo unless work is already started. I would imagine that it would require leases on buildings, secure power, purchase and installation of electronics, and training, hiring, and relocation of people to run it. All in two months? I don't think that could be accomplished even if the sites were run by private companies who get non-competitive contracts. Oh, is that the point?
  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:22AM (#23077956)
    How delightfully naive. This administration should have taught you that it just doesn't work that way anymore.

    If you give them less money, they won't spend any less, they'll just go further into debt. The national debt is now so large that it is completely incomprehensible even to those in power.

    The debt currently stands at almost 9.5 trillion dollars, and is increasing at around 1.67 billion dollars per day. This level of spending would make even a drunken sailor blush, and it's being done despite the fact that we are giving them less money through the various tax cuts that have been implemented over the past 7 years.

    The government spends money as if it were monopoly money, and accumulates expenditures with little or no regard to the disparity between revenue coming in and expenditures going out.
  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:26AM (#23077998) Homepage

    Wouldn't it be nice...

    Why on Earth would I want to give them more? On the contrary, if we give them less money, they will have less power.

    The problem with giving the federal government less money is, we made the mistake of telling them what 'credit' is and gave them the power to increase their own credit limit at will.

    Whatever issues we have with 'tax and spend' Democrats, they have a more honest approach than 'borrow and spend' Republicans. But the bottom line is still, between the Democrats and Republicans, there is no right lizard.

  • Re:$30 billion? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @12:06PM (#23078546)
    Eh? If they have less money - they'll just spend more of what they don't have.

    They are already spending more than they take in right now...

    I like how you blame it on democrats too - Bush lowers taxes, but spends more than any democrat. Essentially what he's doing is deferring any really hard financial decisions to the next guy/girl in power. Its like a stealth raise in taxes because the more deficit spending that occurs the more worthless our dollar is.
  • Oh the irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @12:16PM (#23078676) Journal
    Does anyone see the irony in calling a large scale government information project "Byzantine []"?

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan