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Playing politics with cybersecurity

Charley Ripley | Sept. 4, 2012
For most people, hackers and malware are nefarious entities intent on compromising their PCs and mobile devices, and perhaps stealing some login credentials or financial details. A successful attack can be quite frustrating,--or even devastating--on a personal level, but nobody gets killed and the world goes on.

Legislation aimed at strengthening the nation's critical infrastructure defense has stalled out. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is essentially dead in the water after stiff opposition from Republicans. Opponents feel the bill gives too much power to the Department of Homeland Security and adds unnecessary government regulations that would get in the way of running businesses efficiently.

Perhaps this particular legislation isn't the way to go, but opponents better have a suitable alternative to put on the table. It would be ironic for an attack to cripple our electricity, contaminate our water supply, or shut down our natural gas supply while elected officials bicker about how--or if--we should strengthen our protection of the critical infrastructure.


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