By:  Lisa DuBrock, Contributing Writer

….Yemen. Egypt. Bahrain. Libya.  The list seems to get longer by the day.  

What list you might ask?    Answer: The list of countries that have attempted to ‘Turn off the Internet’. 

In response to this threat as well as to the increased threat of cybercrime and cyber terrorism, last week Senators Lieberman, Collins and Carper issued a statement on a new proposed bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002.  ‘The Cyber Security and Internet Freedom Act of 2011’  will expressly prohibit the President of the United States from shutting down the internet. 

It is also no secret that cybercrime has been on the rise in the last few years.  Latest global estimates on the cost of cybercrime have risen to more than $1 trillion annually.  According to the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, the executive branch and Congress are now under cyber-attack on an average 1.8 billion times a month.  These are numbers that make my head spin. 

The bill also defines the establishment of a new National Center for Cyber Security and Communication.  This new center will place the responsibility of strategy development and execution on the new battlefield of cyber space.

 Senator Carper had the following to say about this bill.  Carper said: “All aspects of American society have become increasingly dependent on the internet whether we’re talking about the military, the government, or businesses both small and large. While in most cases this powerful technology has transformed our daily life for the better, unfortunately bad actors – from common criminals to foreign terrorists– have identified cyber space as an ideal 21st century battlefield.  We have to take steps now to modernize our approach to protecting this valuable, but vulnerable, resource.  We also have to balance our need for security in this new frontier with our democratic values of freedom and liberty.  This legislation strikes that careful balance – providing the tools that America needs to better protect cyber space while additionally protecting our civil liberties.  It encourages the government and the private sector to work together to address this growing threat and provides the resources for America to be successful in this critical effort.”

Please share your opinions and comments with our readership, and, pass this information along as an FYI and additional reading resource for those cybersecurity strategy and risk management planning team members in your organization.

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