I'm from the Government. I'm here to help. (1 in a series)

From Slashdot today, a lengthy piece: “New Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity.”

The bill, containing many of the recommendations of the landmark study “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies …

Who is this? Anybody with expertise in computers and/or security? According to their web page, no. But it does include (among others) Sam Nunn, Zbig Brzezinski, Richard Armitage, William Cohen, Carla Hills, James Schlesinger, Brent Scowcroft, and (of course) Henry Kissinger. It looks like a blue-ribbon commission in-waiting, made up of ex-Secretaries of State and Defense. Could even one of them tell you what SSL is? Not how it works, just what it stands for? I doubt it.

So, what is it they want to do?

…would create the Office of the National Cybersecurity Adviser, whose leader would report directly to the president and would coordinate defense efforts across government agencies. The legislation calls for the appointment of a White House cybersecurity “czar” with unprecedented authority to shut down computer networks, including private ones, if a cyberattack is underway.

This would be the same Federal government that runs the FAA’s computers. I’m sure they have all kinds of useful advice for anyone running a fleet of IBM 704s.

But the most predictable thing about the recommended legislation?

The legislation also would require licensing and certification of cybersecurity professionals.

Because that has worked so well in the areas of medicine and law. For the doctors and lawyers, I mean–not for anyone else.

Creating a guild — straight out of the middle ages — to regulate entry into and practice within a trade. It hardly augurs well for something as high-tech and 21st-Century as cybersecurity.


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