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[] 8.10.02 GovExec.Com White House cyber chief pushes Internet operations,

October 8, 2002

White House cyber chief pushes Internet operations center;

By Bara Vaida, National Journal's Technology Daily

The White House's cybersecurity specialist on Tuesday lobbied
attending a conference to support his recommendation that the private
sector and
federal government create an "Internet operations center" to constantly
monitor the
Internet for attacks.

Speaking at a conference sponsored by the Internet security company
Richard Clarke, head of the White House Office of Cyberspace Security,
said the
federal government should take a greater role in updating and securing
protocols. He asked attendees to send their reactions and comments about
both ideas,
as well as the draft cybersecurity strategy released last month, to the
White House.

Clarke said comments regarding the national strategy would be summarized
and made
public after the Nov. 18 submission deadline. Because of the White House
policy, however, commenters' identities will remain anonymous. In the
following the release of the strategy, several privacy groups expressed
concern that
the government would not release the comments.

Clarke said he envisions an Internet operations center where 15 to 20 of
the nation's
largest Internet service providers (ISPs) and router and security
companies would
provide constant data on the state of the Internet. The government would
not run the
center, but it would receive some government funding, he said. A
university or
national laboratory could host the center, he said.

"Nowhere is there a synaptic view of the Internet. ... Nowhere can you
go to get a
real-time look at ... whether there is a virus spreading or a huge
attack," Clarke said. "There needs to be some place for that, not in the
though we might help put it together and pay for it ... but a place for
that synaptic
view to know if we are under attack."

Clarke said ISPs and telecommunications companies approached him with
the idea of
a monitoring center, leading him to believe that the private sector
would participate.
Clarke said he hopes to include the center in the final strategy and
recommend that
Congress fund it. He said the cost is not likely to be large, though he
declined to

On Internet protocols, Clarke said the government could participate in
Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings and fund IETF test beds as they
more secure protocols. There is an IETF security group focused on the
issue, he said,
"but often it takes a long time for the IETF to test those protocols
because of lack of
test beds," which the government could help foster.

Clarke reiterated that the government should not regulate cybersecurity
and that
market forces would result in companies and individuals doing more to
protect their
computer networks. He also rejected the idea that the government could
offer tax
incentives to companies that implement cybersecurity plans. He said that
would mean
less money in the treasury, and there is no way to target how money from
the tax
incentive would be spent.

Olivier Minkwitz___________________________________________
Dipl. Pol.
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81                         pgpKey:0xAD48A592
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