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[infowar.de] NYT zum Cybersec-Plan
Interessanter als die Inhalte des Planes scheint für die Presse der
Druck der "high-tech companies" auf die Regierung zu sein.
September 18, 2002
Revamped Proposal Suggests Strategies to Tighten Online Security
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
A long-awaited report from the Bush administration intended to help
citizens, businesses and government shore up the nation's cyberdefenses
will be revealed today.
The report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," was scheduled
to be released today with great fanfare at Stanford University. But
officials have decided not to release the report in final form today in
hopes of building support among high-tech companies that worked to
weaken previous drafts.
Instead, the current document is being referred to as a draft. It will
be subject to a 60-day comment period, after which it will be revised
and submitted to the president for final approval.
Like many other reports on cybersecurity before it, the new document
describes a society that has grown increasingly dependent on networked
computer systems, and thus increasingly vulnerable to cyberterrorists,
hackers and destructive computer programs like viruses and worms. Like
those previous reports, it also emphasizes the importance of education
for business, government and consumers. The report breaks down the
cyberspace security challenges faced by various online populations,
including home users and small businesses as well as industry sectors
Some of the tougher measures proposed in earlier drafts of the document
included recommendations that Internet service providers give high-speed
customers firewalls and other tools to defeat hacking and bans on many
uses of wireless networks until the technology is made more secure. The
draft being released today calls for more general proposals that one
security expert dismissed as "pretty-please recommendations" to improve
Richard A. Clarke, the chairman of the president's critical
infrastructure protection board, dismissed assertions that the report
had been softened. "That is a vast exaggeration," Mr. Clarke said
yesterday in a conference call with reporters.
"The point is not what was in Draft 4 or Draft 8 or Draft 12," Mr.
Clarke said. The report, he said, is an effort to offer guidance without
resorting to a greater regulatory structure, or what he called a
"government heavy hand" approach.
"Everybody has to do his own thing to protect cyberspace," he said.
The report has raised fears among civil liberties advocates that the
proposals, in trying to answer many issues, rely heavily on more
surveillance of computer networks -- and, by extension, of those who use
"It's hard to find a security approach that will simultaneously solve
the problems of ice storms, software glitches, Al Qaeda, faulty
operating systems and spam," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "But in almost any
scenario, less emphasis should be placed on monitoring and more on
Those speaking in favor of the new report said that the industry
welcomed the opportunity to comment on the report, and that the essence
of it is unchanged.
"The basic thrust of the recommendations is still there," said Mario
Correa, director of Internet and network security policy for the
Business Software Alliance, a lobbying and policy group in Washington.
A security expert said he was disappointed that the government was not
getting tougher on cyberissues. The expert, Russ Cooper, whose official
title of surgeon general describes his role in advocating good computer
health and hygiene at the Trusecure Corporation, said the information he
had received about the report was "a lot of rhetoric, a lot of
discussion, a lot of what we've been doing along -- but nothing
mandatory about what we needed to do."
Mr. Clarke said that those expecting a detailed set of requirements were
missing the point. He declined to estimate the ultimate costs of
implementing the proposals, saying they should not be taken as a set of
low-level, specific requirements.
"It's not a plan," he said, "it's a strategy."
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