Monday, March 22, 2010

U.S. Aims to Bolster Overseas Fight Against Cyber Crime

Siobhan Gorman writes on The Wall Street Journal:

The alleged Chinese cyber attacks on Google have spurred proposals at the State Department and on Capitol Hill to establish an ambassador-level cybersecurity post and to tie foreign aid to a country's ability to police cybercrime.

"Google was a watershed moment," said James Lewis, a former State Department official and cybersecurity specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It helped push the debate in the direction of better security."

Cybersecurity involves the protection of government and corporate computer systems from hackers. In the wake of the cyber attacks on Google, officials at the State Department circulated a proposal to create an ambassador-like post, according to officials briefed on the proposal. This person would take on such duties as negotiating cyber policy at the United Nations, and making sure the U.S. has a consistent position on cybersecurity when issues come up overseas.

The proposal, however, has run ran into internal resistance from the State Department's intelligence bureau, which currently oversees most cybersecurity matters at the department, said Mr. Lewis, who frequently advises the administration.

More here.


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