White House tackles cybersecurity

The White House's cyberspace security plan, scheduled to be released Wednesday, envisions a broad new role for the federal government in maintaining Internet security.

While couching many concepts as mere suggestions, a draft of the plan seen by CNET News.com says the government should improve the security of key Internet protocols and spend tens of millions of dollars on centers to recognize and respond to "cyber attacks."

The draft report, however, is still in flux. As of late Monday, one controversial section that appears to have been deleted would have required companies to contribute money to a fund to secure computer networks.

Prepared by Richard Clarke, President Bush's special advisor for cyberspace security, the draft says changes "will be needed" in key Internet protocols and endorses "trustworthy computing" technologies such as Microsoft's proposed system. Also under consideration are a "cyber emergency response plan" that would be activated during Internet crises and a National Cyberspace Academy to "advance research in cybersecurity education."

It says the executive branch should consult with privacy groups and attempt to preserve civil liberties, but concludes that in some cases, privacy could be limited. "Allowing completely anonymous communications on a wide-scale basis, with no possibility of determining the source, could shelter criminal, or even terrorist communications," the draft says.

News source: ZDNet

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