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The Cybersecurity-Industrial Complex The feds erect a bureaucracy to combat a questionable threat.
08-11-2011, 04:12 PM #1
Upāsaka Member
Posts:1,383 Threads:252 Joined:Feb 2011

Quote:Jerry Brito & Tate Watkins from the August/September 2011 issue

In the last two years, approximately 50 cybersecurity-related bills have been introduced in Congress. In May the White House released its own cybersecurity legislative proposal. The Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department have each proposed cybersecurity regulations of their own. Last year, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) even declared that cyberattacks might approach “weapons of mass destruction in their effects.” A rough Beltway consensus has emerged that the United States is facing a grave and immediate threat that can only be addressed by more public spending and tighter controls on private network security practices.

In the last two years, approximately 50 cybersecurity-related bills have been introduced in Congress. In May the White House released its own cybersecurity legislative proposal. The Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department have each proposed cybersecurity regulations of their own. Last year, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) even declared that cyberattacks might approach “weapons of mass destruction in their effects.” A rough Beltway consensus has emerged that the United States is facing a grave and immediate threat that can only be addressed by more public spending and tighter controls on private network security practices.

But there is little clear, publicly verified evidence that cyber attacks are a serious threat. What we are witnessing may be a different sort of danger: the rise of a cybersecurity-industrial complex, much like the military-industrial complex of the Cold War, that not only produces expensive weapons to combat the alleged menace but whips up demand for its services by wildly exaggerating our vulnerability.

The Regulatory Urge

The proposals on the table run the gamut from simple requests for more research funding to serious interventions in the business practices of online infrastructure providers. The advocates of these plans rarely consider their costs or consequences.

At one end of the spectrum, there have been calls to scrap the Internet as we know it. In a 2010 Washington Post op-ed, Mike McConnell, former National Security Agency chief and current Booz Allen Hamilton vice president, suggested that “we need to reengineer the Internet to make attribution, geolocation, intelligence analysis and impact assessment—who did it, from where, why and what was the result—more manageable.” Former presidential cybersecurity adviser Richard Clarke has recommended the same. “Instead of spending money on security solutions,” he said at a London security conference last year, “maybe we need to seriously think of redesigning network architecture, giving money for research into the next protocols, maybe even think about another, more secure Internet.”

A re-engineered, more secure Internet is likely to be a very different Internet than the open, innovative network we know today. A government that controls information flows is a government that will attack anonymity and constrict free speech. After all, the ability to attribute malicious behavior to individuals would require users to identify themselves (or be identifiable to authorities) when logging on. And a capability to track and attribute malicious activities could just as easily be employed to track and control any other type of activity.

Many current and former officials, from Clarke to FBI Director Robert Mueller, have proposed requiring private networks to engage in deep packet inspection of Internet traffic, the online equivalent of screening passengers’ luggage, to filter out malicious data and flag suspicious activity. The federal government already engages in deep packet inspection on its own networks through the Department of Homeland Security’s “Einstein” program. Mandating the same type of monitoring by the Internet’s private backbone operators—essentially giving them not just a license but a directive to eavesdrop—would jeopardize user privacy.

There have also been proposals at the FCC and in Congress for the certification or licensing of network security professionals, as well as calls for mandating security standards. While certification may seem harmless, occupational licensing mandates should never be taken lightly; they routinely restrict entry, reduce competition, and hamper innovation. Politicians have also called for substantial new government subsidies, including the creation of regional cybersecurity centers across the country to help medium-sized businesses protect their networks.

Many of the bills would mandate a new cybersecurity bureaucracy within either the Department of Homeland Security or the Defense Department. Many would also create new reporting requirements. For example, the administration’s proposed legislation requires that private firms deemed by the head of Homeland Security to be “critical infrastructure” must develop cybersecurity plans and have those plans audited by federally accredited third parties.

With proposals as intrusive and expensive as these, you might think the case for federal intervention is overwhelming. But it isn’t. Again and again, the regulators’ argument boils down to “trust us.”...http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/25/th...dustrial-c
08-11-2011, 04:19 PM #2
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:31,283 Threads:1,438 Joined:Feb 2011
They are introducing bills and attempting to pass legislation on issues they do not grasp. Most of those old fuckers pwned by corporate interests have never even been on the internet. They are just doing as the special interest groups tell them. gaah.gif

wonder.gif
08-11-2011, 04:25 PM #3
Kreeper Griobhtha
Posts:10,599 Threads:635 Joined:Feb 2011
(08-11-2011, 04:19 PM)JayRodney Wrote:  They are introducing bills and attempting to pass legislation on issues they do not grasp. Most of those old fuckers pwned by corporate interests have never even been on the internet. They are just doing as the special interest groups tell them. gaah.gif

Most of those old fucker would tell you that you misspelled owned...

Then you would be forced to pimpsmack their asses.

(Yes, I know what pwned is.)


chuckle.gif

I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride I am the sky
I am not your blowing wind, I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon, I am the night
The night
08-11-2011, 04:26 PM #4
yankees skier
Posts:5,898 Threads:215 Joined:Feb 2011
I think we should use carrier pigeons going forward.

Biere.
08-11-2011, 04:37 PM #5
Kreeper Griobhtha
Posts:10,599 Threads:635 Joined:Feb 2011
(08-11-2011, 04:26 PM)yankees Wrote:  I think we should use carrier pigeons going forward.

With the economy headed the way it is carrier pigeons would be a bad idea. We would eat the messengers.


chuckle.gif

I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride I am the sky
I am not your blowing wind, I am the lightning
I am not your autumn moon, I am the night
The night



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