Thursday, April 16, 2009

Role of Bush NSA Plan Under Review

Ellen Nakashima writes in The Washington Post:

The Bush administration planned last year to direct the National Security Agency, which specializes in spying electronically on foreign adversaries, to take the techniques it has employed to defend military computer networks and use them to protect U.S. government civilian networks, according to current and former officials.

When the effort did not proceed as quickly as hoped, NSA employees on loan to the Department of Homeland Security sought to test sophisticated software that would send sensor technologies into the Internet to detect malicious code entering civilian government networks, the officials said.

The goal: "Stop it before it gets there," one former official said. He and other sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the methods are classified.

The Obama administration is looking at the Bush plan as part of a 60-day review of the government's cybersecurity strategies and programs expected to be completed today. Congressional committees had concerns about civil liberties, cost and complexity, officials said. DHS still plans to conduct the sensor test, part of a program called Einstein 3, in a manner that the department says will respect privacy and civil liberties laws and rules, and has briefed Congress on the proposal, spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said.

More here.


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