http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/176552.html By Brian Krebs, Washtech WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 13 May 2002, 8:25 PM CST Two Virginia schools on Tuesday will launch a $6.5 million project to help sort out the myriad legal, technical and policy challenges involved in steeling the nation's most vital computer systems against cyber-attacks. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Project - to be housed at the George Mason School of Law in Arlington - is a collaborative effort between GMU's National Center for Technology and Law and researchers and academicians at James Madison University. The project will be led by John A. McCarthy, a former member of a Clinton administration team that facilitated government and private-sector collaboration in preparing key computer systems for the Y2K conversion. Among the more pressing problems the new center will tackle are legal issues that have stymied plans to establish more fluid and open information-sharing networks between the public and private sector. Tech companies have indicated they would be more willing to share information with the government if they could be assured that data would not be leaked to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are pushing legislation that would guarantee such protections. But consumer and privacy watchdog groups say FOIA case law adequately protects any of the information concerning cyber-security issues that should legitimately be withheld from the public. Rather, they argue, the legislation could end up exempting companies from legal liability for security lapses. "The information-sharing plan has been on the table for six years and we still haven't come up with a workable solutions because of legal obstacles," McCarthy said. "We hope that by putting our third-party hat on we'll be able to bring together the right constituencies to broker lasting and useful solutions to long-term problems." The center also plans to offer congressional testimony and become the central clearinghouse for data and research on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection. "We want to become the center that researchers and government leaders can come to that centralizes a lot of data and findings on cybersecurity," McCarthy said. "Right now, that data is all over the map, and we're planning to bring that together in one place." In addition, the group plans to work with other schools to coordinate research and development on cyberterrorism issues. The program is being paid for through the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The $6.5 million was allocated under the FY2002 Commerce-State-Justice appropriations bill, which funds the center for the next two years. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary, and author of the original funding measure, is looking to give the center more money through the appropriations process, an aide said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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