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May 2004

Government cybersecurity: What is being done to fight cybercrime?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the last person you want writing security legislation. When asked by National Public Radio what could be done to fight cybercrime against privately owned networks, the California Democrat said, "What you can do is you can see that the state-of-the-art encryption is present on the large systems that have a high security profile; that's the first thing." Huh? Like most Washington lawmakers, Feinstein is pretty clueless about the intricacies and challenges of IT security. It's Congress' naivete that has the Business Software Alliance and the National Cyber Security Partnership urging corporate leaders to greatly improve their security programs. If the digital frontier isn't brought under control soon, as these groups correctly surmise, Washington will intervene, and there's no telling what the lawmakers and bureaucrats will conjure up. No one ever gets a good feeling when they hear, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you." Consider some of the ideas circulating inside the Washington beltway: New...

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