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Security, Privacy, and the Role of Law
September/October 2009 (vol. 7 no. 5)
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.

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7. US Department of Defense, Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee, Safeguarding Privacy in the Fight Against Terrorism, 2004, p. 6; www.cdt.org/security/usapatriot/20040300tapac.pdf.
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; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1151435.
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.

Index Terms:
privacy, cybersecurity, policy, law, regulation, privacy interests
Citation:
Fred H. Cate, "Security, Privacy, and the Role of Law," IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 60-63, Sept.-Oct. 2009, doi:10.1109/MSP.2009.135
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