Cyber Security: White House Cyber Plan Emphasizes Industry
by Stephen M. Lawton and Bara Vaida
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Borrowing on imagery from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks, the "Nimda" and "Code Red" computer viruses and veiled threats
yet to come, the White House on Wednesday unveiled its national cyber-security
plan at a press conference here.
What was originally expected to be a blueprint of how the administration
plans to fight cyber threats, the document is a "rough draft" that will
be the subject of public comment for the next 60 days, said Richard Clarke,
the president's cyber-security adviser.
"The government cannot dictate, cannot mandate, cannot alone secure cyberspace,"
Clarke said. He characterized the theme of the document as moving away
from "who, what, when, how and shifting to a vulnerability paradigm."
The comprehensive strategy, which took the administration 10 months to
pull together, provides security recommendations to home users, businesses,
industries and government agencies to close the numerous security holes
on the Internet.
Clarke and White House Critical Infrastructure Protection Board Vice Chairman
Howard Schmidt emphasized numerous times that the plan contains no government
regulations because the vast majority of the Internet is privately owned.
Clarke emphasized that public commentary and the development of the final
plan will be open "for all of the country to see."
Schmidt said the process that began with the release of the plan will
take years to fully implement. He compared the ultimate success of the
program with the use of car seat belts today, which he said began as an
inconvenience to drivers but has become an automatic part of driving.
At the event, members of all sectors of the nation's critical infrastructure
spoke. For example, Harris Miller of the Information Technology Association
of America represented the information and communications sector, and
Matt DeZee spoke on behalf of the National Association of State Chief
To help oversee the final drafting of the strategy, the White House announced
a new National Infrastructure Advisory Committee that includes 24 members
of industry, academia and government. In addition, FBI director Robert
Mueller announced a new partnership with the U.S. Secret Service to focus
on cyber crimes.
"Just as entrepreneurs realized the potential of the Internet, so did
criminals," said Brian Stafford, director of the Secret Service.
Federal Trade Commissioner Orson Swindle announced this fall the government
will launch a consumer education campaign to make consumers more aware
of their individual responsibilities for protecting the Internet.
"We want to create a culture of security," he said.