Industry lobbies to take point on security

Industry lobbies to take point on security

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

FEB. 15—Government needs to be a good security role model, information technology industry representatives told the president during a White House meeting on Internet security today. But industry wants to take the lead in securing the Internet, they said.

'Legislation is not the answer,' Harris N. Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, said after the meeting.

Representatives from a dozen companies and organizations presented to President Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno, Commerce Secretary William M. Daley and national security advisers a $9 million plan for a cooperative national cybersecurity center that would let government and industry share information about vulnerabilities, attacks and defensive measures. Clinton endorsed the plan and said he would seek funding for the project.

Miller said the proposal grew from a December meeting between industry representatives and Daley. The structure of the proposed organization and how it would differ from existing computer emergency response teams has not been worked out, but Miller stressed a need for privacy. He said companies must be able to decide what information is passed to government and must be assured that information would remain confidential.

The proposal is an effort to forestall government domination of Internet security, Miller said. 'If industry does not show leadership, then someone is going to say there must be a role for government,' he said.

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