The Obama Homeland Security Plan - Same Problems, Same Solutions


The Obama administration has made their Homeland Security Plan for securing America against terrorist attacks public. The plan covers a multitude of areas
including: Defeating Terrorism Worldwide, Preventing Nuclear Terrorism, Strengthening American Bioterrorism, Protecting our Information Networks, Improving Intelligence Capacity and Protecting Civil Liberties, Protecting Critical Infrastructure, and Modernizing America's Aging Infrastructure. Working in information technology, I am very interested in how the administration intends to protect our information networks. I pulled this off of the White Houses's Web site:


Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- working with private industry, the research community and our citizens -- will lead an effort to build a trustworthy and
accountable cyber infrastructure that is resilient, protects America's competitive advantage, and advances our national and homeland security. They will:


  • Strengthen Federal Leadership on Cyber Security: Declare the cyber
    infrastructure a strategic asset and establish the position of national cyber advisor
    who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating
    federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy.


The Internet affects everyone. Why doesn't President Obama make this a cabinet position?
I guess that since Al Gore invented the Internet, Obama feels compelled to regulate it.
Just what we need, more regulation.


  • Initiate a Safe Computing R&D Effort and harden our nation's Cyber
    Infrastructure: Support an initiative to develop next-generation secure
    computers and networking for national security applications. Work with industry
    and academia to develop and deploy a new generation of secure hardware and
    software for our critical cyber infrastructure.


The government should not be working with industry to develop the next
generation of secure hardware or software. I am concerned that if the
government is involved in the development of these products then they will
be able to crack them any time they feel it necessary.



  • Protect the IT Infrastructure That Keeps America's Economy Safe: Work
    with the private sector to establish tough new standards for cyber security and
    physical resilience.



Why does the private sector need the government to do this? Industry developed
the Internet, despite what Al Gore thinks, and a free market economy will keep it
going. Less government is better government.



  • Prevent Corporate Cyber-Espionage: work with industry to develop the
    systems necessary to protect our nation's trade secrets and our research and
    development. Innovations in software, engineering, pharmaceuticals and other
    fields are being stolen online from U.S. businesses at an alarming rate.



The "Industry" is very capable of developing systems that are secure. I
think having the government involved will hamper the development
process and cost billions to develop. Remember the days of the $10,000

government toilets?



  • Develop a Cyber Crime Strategy to Minimize the Opportunities for Criminal
    Profit: Shut down the mechanisms used to transmit criminal profits by shutting
    down intraceable Internet payment schemes. Initiate a grant and training program
    to provide federal, state, and local law onforcement agencies the tools they need
    to detect and prosecute cyber crime.



Now this is something I agree with. However, why stop here? Why not
increase the jail time for convicted cyber-criminals? Second, the majority of
hackers live in foreign countries. Most of these people get off because
their governments don't know how to catch or prosecute them. There
needs to be more collaboration with these foreign governments.


  • Mandate Standards for Securing Personal Data and Require Companies to
    Disclose Personal Information Data Breaches: partner with industry and our
    citizens to secure personal data stored on government and private systems.
    Institute a common standard for securing such data across industries and protect
    the rights of individuals in the information age.



Again, I agree with the reasoning, but not the way they are goinig to go
about it. Government does not need to be involved with setting standards.
Governments need to legislate, prosecute, supply tools to law enforcement,
money for training and development, and cooperate with foreign governements
to track and arrest cyber criminals.



The Obama administration is faced with the same issues that the Bush and Clinton
administrations have been faced with. I do understand that the issues today are more complex
and further reaching. That is why I feel the solutions need to be stricter, more
thought out, and more focused.