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Inaction Could Lead to Cybersecurity Law

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U.S. businesses for years have urged the government to let them set computer-security standards of their own, but their inability to do so could now prompt Congress to step in, experts say.

Those who worry that regulation may stifle innovation say the business community may have already missed an opportunity to prove the government's help is not needed.

"The market is in a much better position to respond to this challenge ... but corporate America has not provided evidence across the board that they've taken this issue seriously enough to protect consumers," said Bob Dix, a lobbyist for Citadel Security Software Inc., who until last year handled cybersecurity for a congressional subcommittee.

The private sector is under scrutiny after a string of incidents at data brokers, retailers and other businesses exposed at least half a million U.S. citizens to identity theft.

The business community for years has argued that any government regulations would quickly become outdated in a rapidly changing field, and a 2003 Bush administration plan called on the private sector to set its own standards.

Working with the Homeland Security Department, an industry-led task force issued a set of guidelines in April 2004 that called for company chief executives to take direct responsibility for their computer systems.

One year later, only two companies have adopted the guidelines: Entrust Inc. and RSA Security Inc., whose chief executives co-chaired the task force.

Corporate lawyers warned that any public security promises could open the door for lawsuits in the wake of a security breach, said Entrust CEO Bill Connor.

"Clearly people would rather be risk-averse to the legal side than risk-averse to the hacking and breaching," he said.

The Department of Homeland Security is also to blame for not promoting the guidelines after they were released, Connor said. A department spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment.

A separate effort that took place on Capitol Hill had similar results.

Continued ...

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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