Baker Institute policy report looks at cybersecurity

February 24, 2011

A new article written by a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy calls on the intelligence community to jointly create a policy on cybersecurity and determine the degree to which the U.S. should protect intellectual property and national infrastructure of other nations. The author also comments on how aggressive the United States should be in its proactive cyber-spying activities.

"Treasure Trove or Trouble: Cyber-Enabled Intelligence and International Politics" was authored by Chris Bronk, a fellow of information technology at the Baker Institute and a former U.S. State Department diplomat. The report was published this week in the National Military Intelligence Association's American Intelligence Journal, a leading magazine for intelligence professionals.

"America wants a secure cyberspace, but its intelligence agencies have found enormous utility in using their own capabilities to collect confidential information from foreign adversaries," Bronk said. "This raises the question of how the U.S. government can push for global cybersecurity while at the same time using cyber means to collect intelligence on potentially threatening regimes such as Iran."

Bronk kick-starts the debate on how altruistic the United States can be on a secure cyberspace when it may benefit enormously from the insecurity of others' information networks.

This week, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman is again introducing a comprehensive cybersecurity bill with the issue of protecting the vitally important digital networks that make so much of the national infrastructure work.

"There remains an enormous vacuum in policy as to how America's , many of whom are charged with roles is securing cyberspace under the Lieberman bill, can continue to use clandestine cyber means in collecting intelligence, or even engaging in covert action against other countries and transnational groups," Bronk said. "This is an issue that needs consideration and input not just within Washington political circles, but far beyond the Beltway, including firms in Silicon Valley and other tech centers around the U.S."

Explore further: Scientist urges new look at government 'Web-tapping'

More information: To read the full article, visit www.bakerinstitute.org/publications/ITP-pub-BronkTreasureTroveAIJ-022211.pdf

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