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Issue No.05 - September/October (2009 vol.7)
pp: 60-63
Fred H. Cate , Indiana University
US President Barack Obama promised a "new comprehensive approach" to cybersecurity and guaranteed to preserve "personal privacy and civil liberties," but the administration has stopped short of committing to the legal changes necessary to protect either information infrastructure or privacy. This tendency to undervalue law as a tool for enhancing both security and individual privacy is shared with other governments. Sound cybersecurity policy requires better incentives to secure data and systems, and those incentives will emerge, at least in part, from legal requirements. Similarly, serious efforts to protect against cyberthreats will compromise privacy and other civil rights unless those rights are protected by law.
privacy, cybersecurity, policy, law, regulation, privacy interests
Fred H. Cate, "Security, Privacy, and the Role of Law", IEEE Security & Privacy, vol.7, no. 5, pp. 60-63, September/October 2009, doi:10.1109/MSP.2009.135
1. "Remarks by the President on Securing Our Nation's Cyber Infrastructure," The White House, 29 May 2009;
2. B. Berkowitz and R. Hahn, Cybersecurity: Who's Watching the Store? AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, regulatory analysis 03-5, 2003, p. 6;
3. US Nat'l Science Foundation, "Notes for White House 60-Day Cyber-Policy Review,"25 Mar. 2009;
4. Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, public law no. 110-53, title VII, 121 Stat. 266, 2007, section 801.
5. US Nat'l Research Council, US Nat'l Academy of Sciences, Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment, tech. report, 2008;
6. US Government Accountability Office, Privacy: Congress Should Consider Alternatives for Strengthening Protection of Personally Identifiable Information, tech. report GAO-08-795T, 2008, pp. 13–14.
7. US Department of Defense, Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee, Safeguarding Privacy in the Fight Against Terrorism, 2004, p. 6;
8. United States v. Miller, US Reports, vol. 425, 1976, p. 435.
9. F.H. Cate, "Government Data Mining: The Need for a Legal Framework," Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Rev., vol. 43, 2008, p. 436;
10. K.M. Sullivan, "Under a Watchful Eye: Incursions on Personal Privacy," The War on Our Freedoms: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism, vol. 128, 2003, p. 131.
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