Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DHS Official Says ISPs Would Likely Be Covered By Obama Cybersecurity Plan

Gautham Nagesh writes on The Hill:

A top Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity official told lawmakers Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would likely be among the private-sector firms that would be subject to federal oversight under the White House's proposed cybersecurity legislation.

At a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, DHS acting Deputy Under Secretary Greg Schaffer acknowledged that under the White House's plan, ISPs would likely be among the private firms deemed critical infrastructure and therefore subject to federal security standards.

Schaffer emphasized that the administration's legislative proposal doesn't explicitly lay out which industries would be deemed critical and core critical infrastructure, but witnesses at Tuesday's hearing mentioned transportation, financial services, utilities and healthcare providers as among those sectors that could be included.

Subpanel Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) noted that ISPs are in a unique position to know when consumers' computers are under attack or have been enslaved by malicious botnets. He suggested ISPs should take action against infected devices in the event consumers are not aware of the breach.

More here.


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