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Cybersecurity Laws Would Do More Harm Than Good 77

Trailrunner7 writes with one perspective on the inability of the Congress to pass 'cybersecurity' legislation before recessing. From the article: "They've taken innumerable swings at it, and struck out every time, ... and, for once, we all should be thankful for our lawmakers' inability to act. ... What it's not good at is understanding the Internet or acting swiftly and decisively. The current cybersecurity legislation mess is the perfect combination of those two factors. Corporations and government agencies in the U.S. have been getting their heads handed to them by attackers from around the world for several years now. Long-term, persistent campaigns have been targeting defense contractors, energy and utility companies, manufacturing firms, and government agencies with an alarming rate of success. But Congress, or at least some members of it, don't seem to understand that. Sen. Joseph Lieberman sent a letter Monday to President Obama, comparing the threat to U.S. networks from foreign attackers to the threat from terrorists before 9/11. He then urged the president to use his executive authority to somehow influence the situation. Let's be clear: If the companies that own and operate critical infrastructure — not to mention defense contractors — don't understand the nature of the threat they're facing at this point, no amount of incentives will change that. Neither Congress nor the President can fix this problem with the kinds of solutions they're considering." Reader CurseYouKhan links to a different perspective: "Chabinsky is the latest of several former Federal security types to issue warnings on the topic. Earlier this year, Shawn Henry, who recently retired as the Bureau’s top cyber-sleuth, also called for a more offense-minded approach. Ex-CIA director Michael Hayden thinks the private sector may not wait for the government to act. He expects to see the emergence of a 'digital Blackwater,' or the emergence of firms that could be hired to go all mercenary on online intruders."
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Cybersecurity Laws Would Do More Harm Than Good

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  • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @11:17AM (#41465191) Homepage Journal

    That sounds like a particularly nasty mess right there, as most of the attacks originate from foreign soil.

    Given the complications of anonymity, subterfuge, and just outright corruption that could complicate an e-mercenary squad, the implications of this sort of thing proliferating will be HUGE. I don't like the idea of the government getting involved where they aren't needed, but at least they are typically either amenable to openness (via the FOIA or similar), or they are large enough to have a whistleblower ecosystem pre-installed (e.g. Bradley Manning). A private third party, whose allegiance might literally even be to a foreign state, is a very scary thought.

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923