[ISN] Pennsylvania strengthens cybersecurity

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Oct 22 2001 - 01:19:09 PDT

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    By Dibya Sarkar 
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Pennsylvania officials have launched an initiative to strengthen
    security and privacy policies and practices by educating state
    employees, hiring an ombudsman to oversee compliance and amending
    criminal codes to better address cybercrime.
    Gov. Mark Schweiker unveiled the initiative, PA Secure Online, Oct.
    18. The governor's deputy press secretary, David La Torre, said it had
    been in the works for some time and was not precipitated by the Sept.
    11 terrorist attacks.
    "Actually, we were working on PA Secure Online well before 9/11, but
    9/11 only increased the need for security online," he said. "We
    thought it was important at this time that everyone was on the same
    page regarding privacy and security policies."
    By next spring, the state hopes to have an ombudsman in place, a
    position akin to a chief privacy officer, he said. The ombudsman, who
    would be under the auspices of the state Department of Information
    Technology, would reach out to agencies and coordinate the education
    effort as well as ensure compliance of state policies and federal
    restrictions on the use, storage and access to data, he said.
    The state will also create a "cyber academy" to better educate state
    employees on detecting threats to cybersecurity and train
    investigators techniques for apprehending hackers. He said the state
    would use experts from within state government as well as from across
    the country to train employees at workshops and seminars.
    La Torre said the proposed ombudsman and cyber academy would not
    require new legislation and would have minimal financial impact. But
    amending the criminal code would require new laws to better clarify
    language in dealing with such computer crimes as cyberstalking and
    The state also wants to make sure that the law is clear on who has
    jurisdictional authority on a cybercrime, an issue many states are
    grappling with, he said.
    "We want to make sure everything is clear and concise so [authorities]
    have a bead on the person who is committing the cybercrime," La Torre
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