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[] U.S. House approves $30 billion security blanket,

U.S. House approves $30 billion security blanket
By Ashlee Vance in San Francisco
Posted: 26/06/2003 at 02:24 GMT
The U.S House of Representatives has cast its vote in favor of sending 
$29.4 billion to the Homeland Security Department, and some Democrats 
don't think this is enough. 

The House bill passed with overwhelming support - 425 votes in favor and 
just 2 against. The lawmakers want the funds to cover a variety of efforts 
in 2004, including bioterrorism research, improved security at borders and 
helping out firefighters and local law enforcement. 

The funding would go to the Coast Guard, Transportation Security 
Administration, Customs Service and Border Patrol. The FBI and CIA are not 
included in the department. 

While the bill received wide backing, some Democrats argued that $30 
billion simply was not enough to keep us safe. There is more than a 
smidgen of paranoia in the air. 

One security expert Wednesday urged Congress to make sure it directs 
enough funds to cybersecurity research. Bruce Schneier, founder and CTO of 
Counterpane Internet Security, testified at the Hearing of Homeland 
Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research and 

Schneier warned that fending off cyber attacks is becoming more difficult 
as the hacker's tools improve and technology overall becomes more complex. 
He urged that taking companies to task for their failures to make secure 
products could be one way to help the situation. 

"The major reason companies don't worry about the externalities of their 
security decisions, the effects of their insecure products and networks on 
others, is that there is no real liability for their actions," Schneier 
said in a statement. "Liability will immediately change the cost/benefit 
equation for companies, because they will have to bear financial 
responsibility for ancillary risks borne by others as a result of their 
actions. Liability is a common capitalistic mechanism to deal with 
externalities, and it will do more to secure our nation's critical 
infrastructure than any other action." 

Why does the word "Redmond" keep coming to mind? 

Schneier also called for more research into securing federal networks and 
developing better security tools. 

So much to secure, so little time and money. ? 
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