If federal regulators shouldn't take the lead on cybersecurity, then who should? The private sector-but only by voluntarily sharing classified information, not through regulation, the argument goes. Instead of relying on the government to address cyberthreats, SECURE IT lowers the liability that private sector companies would face, should they share information about potential threats with the government. This has the potential to lead to civil rights abuses, although the bill's sponsors promise that won't happen.
Cyber Villains Aren't Waiting
From the perspective of the technology industry, all this political bickering comes across as dangerously parochial. The Internet, after all, knows no geographic borders, and the bad guys are all too willing to take advantage of the nationalist tunnel vision that all countries exhibit, including the U.S. While the government bickers over whether the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense should take the lead in cybersecurity, villains unknown are planning...well, we don't really know what they're planning, do we?
News: Government Alarm Over Cyberattacks Validated By Terrorists
By calling for greater protection for critical infrastructure such as power plants and water treatment plants via better communication between private industry and government, President Obama is doing all he can, given Congressional intransigence. Even if the President gets what he's asking for, though, there's still a serious concern that it won't be enough, since there's no way to know if an attacker is targeting the critical infrastructure on the President's list.