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DHS mulls changes to CyberFETCH registration

CyberFETCH, or the Cyber Forensics Electronic Technology Clearinghouse, is a Web-based repository of digital forensic tools, technology, and information managed by the Homeland Security Department’s Science & Technology Directorate. It is an unclassified program that does not contain sensitive data, and it went live in May 2012.

The free, collaborative platform is available to forensic practitioners from the public sector, private industry and academia who are citizens of the United States and associated with a U.S-based government, industry or academic institution. Subject matter experts can post blogs sharing their lessons learned and retrieve news and scholarship on cyber forensics. The portal also provides glossaries, listings of upcoming training and events. Members can categorize the material they contribute and network with peers. It includes a wiki, chat, document sharing and other features.

But the forensic information collected and shared on the CyberFETCH website is private and can only be accessed by users who have authenticated themselves. They must fill out a registration form that DHS uses to verify their identity and the validity of their request. DHS is now seeking comments on the information requested in those forms.

While discussions on CyberFETCH began earlier, the system didn’t begin ramping up until 2011. There are now plans to build a public site for agencies and users that would like their information available to the general public.

DHS is accepting comments on revising information collected from users until Oct. 1, 2013, and is particularly interested in comments that 1) evaluate the necessity of the information collected; 2) evaluate the accuracy of the burden of collecting the information; 3) suggest ways to improve the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and 4) minimize the burden of collecting it.

Posted by Kathleen Hickey on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM


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