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Obama Administration Pushes for More National, International Cyber Oversight

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | 4:20 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

Cybersecurity strategy is key, or so it seems for the Obama administration, which, over the past week, laid out both national and international plans for cyberspace.

On Thursday, the White House released its much-anticipated ‘Cybersecurity Legislative Proposal,’ calling for IT advancements to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure, Federal Government computers and networks, as well as the American people.

Under the draft legislation, provided at the request of several Senate committee chairs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be called upon to ramp up its cyber efforts, while working with industry to identify threats and vulnerabilities on a multifaceted level.

The plan would also require DHS to implement new cybersecurity programs with respect to the public’s privacy and civil liberties, in addition to recruiting new IT security professionals to beef up the government’s grasp on the issues at hand.

“Our Nation is at risk,” the White House said in a statement.  “The cybersecurity vulnerabilities in our government and critical infrastructure are a risk to national security, public safety, and economic prosperity. The Administration has responded to Congress’ call for input on the cybersecurity legislation that our Nation needs, and we look forward to engaging with Congress as they move forward on this issue.”

But the Obama administration’s reach will extend beyond Congress, according to a meeting held yesterday by members of the President’s Cabinet and senior government officials, who unveiled the nation’s plans to enhance cybersecurity on a global scale.

Deemed ‘The US National Strategy for Cyberspace,’ the administration’s latest cyber undertaking aims to “promote an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free expression and innovation.”

To carry out the plan, the US will work with “like-minded states” to create policy priorities and establish international standards for IT innovation and security, meanwhile fostering Internet freedom for all, according to the White House’s 25-page proposal.

“The International Strategy lays out the President’s vision for the future of the Internet, and sets an agenda for partnering with other nations and peoples to achieve that vision,” said White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt alongside his colleagues: Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Lynn.

“With our partners around the world, we will work to create a future for cyberspace that builds prosperity, enhances security, and safeguards openness in our networked world,” Schmidt added. “This is the future we seek, and we invite all nations, and peoples, to join us in that effort.”

If you haven’t already started daydreaming of your own cyber strategies, check out the following cybersecurity news headlines:

Push for electronic medical records overlooks some security gaps (Associated Press)

Senate Commerce Committee postpones cybersecurity hearing indefinitely (The Hill)

FCC shifts cybersecurity focus to small businesses (The Hill)

Sen. Rockefeller unveils ‘Do Not Track’ bill (Politico)

Application vulnerabilities chief among federal cybersecurity concerns (FierceGovIT)

Security pros launch cybersecurity index (NetworkWorld)

Securing the US power grid from cyber attack (AutomationWorld)

What US cybersecurity needs: a few more good guys (CSM)

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES:

UK Treasury targeted in cyber attacks (Wall Street Journal)

UK cybersecurity minister Neville-Jones resigns (ZDNet)

Hackers knock Mexican bishops’ website offline (CNA)

India to develop tech to block cyber attack (Deccan Chronicle)

N.Korea denies cyber-attack on S. Korea bank (AFP)

BUSINESS BUZZ:

Sony network breach shows Amazon’s cloud services appeal to hackers (Bloomberg)

Sony resuming PlayStation Network, Qriocity services (ComputerWorld)

Facebook plugs third-party access to user accounts (CNET)

Google Chromebooks OS Could Pave Way For Data Loss: Experts (CRN)

Database of Fox employees’ passwords and emails leaked (Gawker)

EVENTS:

Cyber Warfare & Security Summit (June 27-29, IDGA)

Global Security Forum 2011: The Future of War (June 8, CSIS)

CNBC presents “Code Wars: America’s Cyber Threat” (May 26, CNBC)


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