NSA Director Pushes Cybersecurity Bill

Cyberattacks have breached the Pentagon and sent businesses into bankruptcy. Still, it might take a cyberdisaster that causes damage on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to get lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at shoring up the U.S.’s infrastructure.

The White House has proposed an executive order to address part of the problem, but Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, says that is not enough.

The Pentagon has a pilot program that will help private companies work with the government to help them protect their own information.

But that program “doesn’t give us the ability to work with the Internet service providers and allow that to benefit the rest of the critical infrastructure and the rest of government,” Alexander said during an Oct. 1 panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “That’s really what we need this legislation for.”

An executive order also would fail to address liability protections to shield companies from lawsuits over information-sharing that are needed to encourage participation, says Susan Collins (Maine), the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee and a co-sponsor of cybersecurity legislation.

“I think the executive order is a mistake,” Collins says. “I fear that it actually could lull people into a false sense of security that we’ve taken care of cybersecurity.”

This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

— Jen DiMascio

  • justsaying

    Just look at that man’s face. A remorseless psychopath if I’ve ever seen one. Probably insane.

    • tencap1

      You obviously don’t know anything about GEN Alexander. He is one of the most intelligent, astute people I met in 22 years of Active Duty. He’s smart, inquisitive and knows how to get things done. Right now he’s doing the work of at least two general officers in running Cyber Command and NSA. He is also the first Military Intelligence officer to reach 4 stars. And no, I don’t work for him…

  • blight_

    Guy is from army with postings in Military Intel.

    Edit: At least he knows what an IP address is, haw haw.

  • david

    Let’s not forget that the Israelis own a company that handles all the billing for phone companies in the US. They have access to all phone records. How was this ever allowed to happen?

    • Vaporhead

      So what. The U.S. is owned by China.

      • Agitated badger

        Look chicken little, China owns a little less than 7% of the total us national debt…… the sky isn’t falling

  • elmondohummus

    This posted story here is a little too superficial; there’s no real meat to it. There are various issues surrounding the upcoming Executive Order, some non-political (privacy concerns if information sharing between government and private business is mandatory or even voluntary but incentivized), others blatantly political (two separate bills in Congress were killed, and various legislators – including Senator Collins, who’s named in the above post – have been complaining about exclusion in the discussion process. Whether that’s justified given their knowledge, or political given their party affiliations is up to you to decide). But the point is that there’s much backkground and context to the story that’s worthy of mention and discussion, but it’s simply not included above.

  • dddddd

    As long as it doesn’t affect porn it should be alright

  • Steve

    “Cyberattacks have breached the Pentagon and sent businesses into bankruptcy.”

    Which businesses?

    • Anonymous

      F-35 business.

      • ltfunk2

        yep its comparable to the number of businesses that have to close down because the owner’s cat goes missing.

    • The_Hand

      There have been a couple of instances of small- to mid-size companies that went bankrupt after having their bank accounts fraudulently drained. Even if you work with law enforcement and the bank to try and recover the funds, the delay can easily cause cash flow and credit issues that sink the company anyway.

  • MarilynMonroe

    Privacy is a privilege, unless you get stuck in “The Centers” in Ocala, FL. I believe private information belongs in the hands of our Military, considering THEY ultimately allow Americans to sleep without 1eye open, I Thank God each day I wake up safe & alive, I couldn’t imagine having the huge responsibility of coordinating all the branches of our Defense, if not done With utmost privacy, we could be at risk of events like 911, so if our country needs info any shape or form, Thank God they care enough to be in places most of us could never imagine, our military sleeps w one eye open so us Americans never have to.

    • C. Kellermann

      “Privacy is a privilege”? Have you ever read the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution; while you are at it, why not read the entire Constitution – you will then be a lot more enlightened then so many Americans.

  • USA

    well its about time they look at cyber threats a little more now. im glad to see that they are taking action now

  • ltfunk2

    Cyberwar makes about as much sense as declaring war on shoplifting and creating a Strategic Shoplifting Command. It is halfwitted.

    These sort of bogus organisations tend to attract the stupid and clueless and nothing scares them more then the idea that someone is going to call them on the whole thing and they will be an unemployed laughing stock.

    It used to be if you went around claiming the Chinese are going to destroy cities using thier computers they would lock you up as a raving lunatic not give you a billion dollars to waste.