[ISN] FC: Congress publishes father-knows-best "cybersecurity" report

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri May 31 2002 - 05:04:25 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Low-tech solution to password problem"

    Forwarded from: Jei <jeiat_private>
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 04:22:27 -0400
    From: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    To: politechat_private
    Subject: FC: Congress publishes father-knows-best "cybersecurity" report
    Congress' Joint Economic Committee published a report this afternoon on 
    Skip the introduction; it's bland and repetitive. ("Interdependencies require
    us to think differently about security!")
    The essays themselves are more interesting: Not for what they say, but for 
    how they say it. The report is an excellent example of the type of 
    Father-knows-best thinking Washingtonians sometimes lapse into -- where 
    technocrats proclaim their certitude about various societal woes and bemoan 
    (a) their budgets, (b) their legal authority, (c) that private sector 
    businesses aren't sufficiently compliant and/or deferential. All the essay 
    authors, based on my quick read, are current or former government-natsec 
    types, and I'd wager most have active security clearances.
    Note in the press release below four horsemen of the infocalypse are 
    galloping hard into the fray ("hackers, software pirates, child 
    pornographers and cyber terrorists", frets Rep. Lamar Smith). Missing are 
    the drug smugglers and money launderers...
    Don't get me wrong; many of the recommendations make sense. Who wouldn't 
    agree that government infosecurity is laughable and in need of some serious 
    fixing? Some of the other ideas:
    * A "FANNIE MAE" for network security: "Toward that end, to maximize 
    business confidence, a government-sponsored enterprise, managed as an 
    independent corporation, should be considered..."
    * A cyber-czar, move over Richard Clarke: "We need to appoint a senior 
    government official with clout..."
    * Corporate executives are slow-witted blokes who need things explained 
    sloooowly: "Only when the threats to critical infrastructure are translated 
    into business terms that corporate boards and senior management understand..."
    * Concern about "market failures": "The government must explore other 
    options to prevent market failures from posing an unacceptable risk to the 
    economic and national security of the United States..."
    * Limiting annonymity? "Sometimes anonymous environment... We must revisit 
    our legal, economic, and social regimes... Ensure the effectiveness of law 
    * X-Files fodder: "consider emulating FEMA..."
    For Immediate Release
    Press Release #107-90
    May 29, 2002
    Contact: Christopher Frenze
              Executive Director
              (202) 224-5171
    WASHINGTON, D.C.  A variety of security issues related to high technology 
    is examined by leading experts in a new Joint Economic Committee compendium 
    released today, Security in the Information Age: New Challenges, New 
    "These studies build on previous JEC hearings on a number of security 
    issues related to high technology," Chairman Jim Saxton said.  "These 
    studies examine how cyber security has become such an important component 
    of our economic and national security, and the implications for economic 
    and security policy.  I would like to thank Senator Robert Bennett for his 
    interest in this issue, and for his role in assembling the compendium of 
    papers the Committee is releasing today," Saxton concluded.
    "In bringing us an exciting new era of technology, the Information Age has 
    also given us a new set of security challenges," Senator Bennett 
    said.  "The primary message of today's report is that we must think 
    differently about national security in the new networked world.  As some 
    would say, 'we're not in Kansas anymore.'
    "I commend Governor Ridge for his outstanding work to develop a national 
    strategy and his recognition of the importance of the private sector in 
    this process.  I hope our report from the JEC will be of value in this 
    effort," said Bennett.
    "Just as mechanization was responsible for the Industrial Revolution, 
    technology is the foundation of our new economy," Congressman Lamar Smith 
    said.  "The advantages of technology are obvious and so are the 
    disadvantages.  The Web is a fount of information, but also a tool for 
    hackers, software pirates, child pornographers and cyber terrorists.  To 
    sustain our economic growth, we must secure our information networks and 
    ensure that technology grows, not crime."
    For a copy of the study, please visit the JEC website at www.house.gov/jec	
    POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
    You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice.
    To subscribe to Politech: http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html
    This message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
    Declan McCullagh's photographs are at http://www.mccullagh.org/
    Like Politech? Make a donation here: http://www.politechbot.com/donate/
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri May 31 2002 - 08:08:59 PDT