Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
Get realRob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Thursday, 11 October 2001
CONGRESSMAN SHERWOOD BOEHLERT (R-NY) chaired a "cybersecurity" hearing the other day. "What legislation and other steps are needed to increase the focus on computer security?" he asked. "We want to focus on real, concrete problems and develop specific solutions."
I hope he didn't ask it rhetorically. If he did, then you can skip the rest of my column.
First of all, Congress could stop stacking their hearings with fearmongers & computer security vendors. I mean, c'mon — how many times has a computer security critic testified on Capitol Hill? You could count them all on a single hand and you'd have five fingers left over.
Second, Congress could start facing some bitter realities. For example, our vaunted U.S. military:
And that's just our vaunted U.S. military! I describe many other bitter realities in my columns.
Congress doesn't yet want to focus on "real, concrete problems" in the computer security world. They'll never "develop specific solutions" until the day they start getting real. Congress can't start getting real if they dismiss criticism as a politically incorrect viewpoint.
Of course, this same Congress once called three Hollywood actresses to testify on the plight of midwestern farming women. I shouldn't complain just because they stack witnesses in a computer security hearing.
So ... when will Congress start getting real about anything?