Tuesday, February 28, 2012

cyber fight

Who's in charge of America's defenses against cyber threats? According to Dana Priest and Bill Arkin, 21 federal agencies created after the 9/11 attacks have cybersecurity responsibilities and authorities. They continue to fight each other for money, power, and leadership on the issue. Earlier, the Air Force was trying to take control of the issue, only to be subordinated to a joint Cyber Command. Now NSA is in the fight.

Who should be in charge? I don't know. Legislation in Congress wants to give the lead to the Department of Homeland Security. The National Security Agency [NSA] has been pushing itself -- to the point that the White House has told the agency to cool it, mainly out of concerns that the NSA-proposed plan raises major privacy concerns. At least that's what has surfaced in the Washington Post. I guess I sympathize with the notion of giving the lead to civilian agencies in order to avoid military dominance.

Meanwhile, there's a useful debate between skeptics and alarmists on the cyber threat. Take a look at the debate in Foreign Policy magazine between Thomas Rid and John Arquilla.

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