President Obama calls cyber security a national emergency and the cyber security legislation plays the prime role in analyzing and integrating information from the intelligence community related to cyber threats. Cyber security law should be such that it protects citizens private data as well as continue to to prevent serious cyber attacks on business and infrastructure by criminals and rogue states. The problem is how on earth to address those two needs fairly and effectively at the same time, and that battle is taking place now.
Cyber security legislation has been debated for years but is still not hitting the mark in addressing very serious concerns. The Cyber security bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) has been on debate to protect companies from lawsuits as they share customer information with the authorities. One measure was made very clear that personally identifiable data had to be scrubbed by companies before it is passed on. But serious concerns remain around protection for companies that fail to act sensibly in looking after customer’s privacy in this area.
Earlier, 55 security organizations and security experts in a letter wrote that the Act would authorize companies to monitor users’ online activities, and share information including their online communication, without proper privacy protection. In addition, they wrote, federal entities could automatically share with the NSA personal information about individuals without proper control, take away due process in law enforcement, and even effectively allow organizations to hack innocent people’s computer systems in the name of important countermeasures.
Meanwhile, industry and government organizations view the legislation as vital in preventing the serious hacks they fear. There is great worry in industry that major hacks such as those of Sony Pictures and Target could be just the beginning of a new era of danger, and in terms of national infrastructure, the high level of digitization of communications, utilities and beyond poses an ever greater threat of key services being disabled or controlled by others.
President Obama laid out his opinion of why poor cyber security is such a dire threat to the nation and his opinion on what should be done about it.
With a view to improve cyber security law, it is important that the democrats and the republicans come together. Businesses should improve their cyber-security walls, legislators must act to protect people’s data and make sure the growing demands from business and government advisers do not blind them to this.