Enter Washington's Cybersecurity Critics

Posted by: Keith Epstein on April 15, 2009

While Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee (and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee), is going around declaring cybersecurity the top threat facing the U.S., some longtime security researchers have their doubts about aspects of new legislation he’s pushing to safeguard networks.

Columbia University professor and former AT&T Labs computer guru Steven M. Bellovin likes parts of Rockefeller’s blueprint but finds others “poorly thought out.” Bellovin’s own prescription, which he posted on his blog, appears grim: “There is no presidential or Congressional road to cybersecurity.”

On his blog, Bruce Schneier, BT’s chief security technology officer and another well-known computer safeguards specialist, warns of National Security Agency control and urges leveraging the marketplace. “The best thing the government can do for cybersecurity world-wide is to use its buying power to improve the security of the IT products everyone uses.”

Meanwhile, in Washington the cyberbeat goes on. President Obama’s designated cybersecurity official, Melissa Hathaway, is due to make her recommendations any day now - and the troubling digital intrusions, many of which we reported in some detail last year, appear to be continuing.

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