Friday, July 20, 2012

Obama and Cyber Security

President Obama has released an Op-Ed with some interesting comments on Cyber Security.

To put his post into context, every year FEMA runs these big "games" which are essentially planning sessions for national-level emergencies. They help the country organize roles and responsibilities, and get all the legal paperwork in place in the event something happens. On one hand, they are large brainstorming sessions, where various parts of industry get to explain how they would react or be hurt or could help in the event of some kind of attack, and on the other hand, they're political stunts where various industries and parts of government can demonstrate their needs and sometimes their usefulness.

In this year's simulation, Obama had to use new laws to shut down the Internet in response to ongoing effective cyber-attacks. And, although I'm not privy to the classified side of the simulation, he probably also had to absorb intelligence, establish attribution, and launch a military response. Of course, the FEMA simulation ends there. In the real world, we would have to deal with the aftermath.

Politically, Cyber is an area Obama is demonstrating vision in - assuming Sanger's book is at all accurate, he's seen first hand the role Cyber can play in the future of war, and wants to inoculate his own country from the oncoming threat. Frankly, that's Presidential.

It's telling the the Romney team (which includes former DIRNSA Michael Hayden) has not come out on this issue one way or the other, choosing instead to focus their message entirely on "the economy" as relates to internal social issues (aka Health Care and Taxation). But addressing cyber security issues should be a key component of any job-bill, with regards to protecting industries from nation-state economic espionage, or simply noting that there's a huge proportion of people invested in the industry and effected by the oncoming sequester.

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