Industry wary of new security laws

Industry wary of new security laws

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

Government must be a good security role model, information industry representatives told President Clinton during a White House meeting last week about recent Web service attacks.

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

Representatives of a dozen companies and organizations presented the president, Attorney General Janet Reno, Commerce Secretary William M. Daley and national security advisers with a $9 million plan for a cooperative national cybersecurity center.

The center would share information about vulnerabilities, attacks and defensive measures. Clinton endorsed the plan and said he would seek funding for it.

Miller said the proposal grew out of a December meeting Daley had with industry representatives. How the proposed center would differ from existing computer emergency response teams has not been worked out, Miller said. He said companies must be able to decide what information is passed along to government and be certain it remains confidential.

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

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