Why no one wants DHS to play cyber mall cop

Why no one wants DHS to play cyber mall cop
Why no one wants DHS to play cyber mall cop 

By Mike Spinney
July 22, 2010

COMMENTARY - Mike Spinney is a senior privacy analyst at the Ponemon 
Institute, which conducts independent research on privacy, data 
protection and information security policy.

The Homeland Security Department recently announced an initiative aimed 
at creating a more secure system of online identification. According to 
its Web site, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace 
seeks to "improve cyberspace for everyone - individuals, private sector 
and governments - who conducts business online."

That's certainly a noble goal. But the very existence of NSTIC begs two 
very important questions: Does protecting me and my fellow citizens 
while we transact business online fall within the department.s areas of 
responsibility? And does DHS truly believe it can do what the private 
sector, driven by a clear and compelling profit motive, has yet to 
successfully accomplish?

The answer to both questions is a resounding no. DHS should focus on 
doing what its name implies - protecting the homeland - and resist the 
urge to demote itself into the role of national cyber mall cop.


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