US defends cybersecurity plan over tech lobbying slur

"It is not watered down" - White House
Written by CNET Networks, Contributor

"It is not watered down" - White House

A White House official is standing behind the US administration's draft recommendations on cybersecurity, asserting that they have not been weakened by lobbying from technology companies. "The one [claim] I hear the most often is that it was watered down," Howard Schmidt, vice chairman of the White House's National Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, said late last week. "It is not watered down." On Wednesday, the White House formally introduced a 64-page draft proposal titled "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace." Rather than target specific industry segments or recommend new laws and regulations, the administration's plan states that industry and individuals must simply take greater cautions. Earlier drafts of the report were more detailed and envisioned a far greater role for the federal government. An August version of the report said that the government should improve the security of key internet protocols and that complete online anonymity was worrisome. "It's not the government's place to mandate and dictate to the private sector how to innovate," Schmidt said at a conference organised by the Internet Law and Policy Forum. Schmidt, who was formerly Microsoft's chief security officer, stressed, however, that the report is a work in progress and that eight 'town hall' meetings are planned for this fall before the document is submitted to President Bush. Those meetings will "dispel the myth that one group gets a vote more than someone else," Schmidt said. Declan McCullagh writes for News.com
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