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Cyber Security Controls As A Public Good

2486 words - 10 pages

Society today is plagued with crime that is difficult to combat, constantly changing, and has no borders; this type of crime is called cyber-crime. The United States of America is attacked on a daily basis by cyber criminals both foreign and domestic. The crimes committed involve fraud, identity theft, theft of proprietary trade secrets, and even theft of national secrets. The 2009 Internet Crime Report indicates there were 336,655 received cyber-crime complaints in 2009 and a total monetary loss of $559.7 million (“2009 Internet Crime Report,” 2009). Cyber-crime affects everyone; therefore, individuals, corporations, and government entities are responsible for safeguarding information against these attacks. Clearly, a unified front must be established to combat this epidemic. A unification of individual citizens, corporations, and government entities must occur to prevent and deter cyber-attacks. A united front to fight cyber-crime requires that a standard set of cyber security controls be established for the public good, but who should be responsible for mandating those controls?
Directing cyber security controls involves establishing laws, setting penalties for breaking laws, and creation of foreign policies regarding cyber-crime with other nations. Since laws, penalties, and foreign policy are required, the responsibility for mandating security controls for the public good falls on the government. Before the government is allowed to require certain cyber security controls be put in place, the following questions must be answered:
Is the government justified in mandating cyber security controls?
Should individuals and corporations be responsible for protecting trade and national secrets through cyber security controls?

Is the Government Justified in Mandating Cyber Security Controls?
Whenever the government becomes involved with mandating requirements that affect the individual citizen and corporations, the government is often met with resistance. Mandating cyber security controls; although for the public good, will most likely be resisted as well. In March of 2010, The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The law was passed and put in place health insurance reforms that hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, and guarantee more choice involving health care (“Understanding the Affordable Care Act,” 2010). The law was considered to be for the public good; however, it was immediately met with resistance. Shortly after the law was passed, attorneys general in 14 states filed suit on grounds that the law was unconstitutional (Kranish, 2010). Mandating cyber security controls will be met with similar resistance unless the government can provide strong justification for the action.
Direct and aggressive cyber security attacks against the United States of America from a foreign country, provides a strong case for the justification of...

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