The Bush administration has admitted that its plan to combat the threat of cyber terrorism through industry self-regulation is flawed, and companies may be encouraging more restrictive security regulations by declining to work with the Federal Government.
Richard Clarke, the administration's national co-ordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counter-terrorism, warned US corporations this week that self-regulation is not working, and that the US Government could consider regulatory action if companies fail to protect themselves adequately from the threat of cyber terrorism.
"We tried a year and a half ago to get you all in involved as a substitute for government regulation, because market forces work better than laws and regulation in this area," Clarke told US business leaders. "Although we have been pledging no regulation, there is a creeping regulation," he added.
"The preferred approach is to promote market actions rather than regulatory solutions," explained Kenneth Juster, under secretary for export administration at the US Department of Commerce.
Both Clarke and Juster attacked the national plan for protecting critical IT infrastructure, released two years ago under the Clinton administration, saying that the strategy "could not be translated into business terms that corporate boards and senior management could understand".
Clarke said that there must be standards for privacy, but in order to get that privacy in cyberspace, there must also be standards for security "because without security, there can be no privacy".
He added that he wanted to see the private sector contributing standards and best practices relevant to each industry sector.
"We need to be able to show that there are alternatives and that industry has established mechanisms that are better than big governmental regulation," he said.
"Otherwise this interest in achieving privacy and security in cyberspace through regulation will continue to grow," was the added warning.
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23