In a recent blog on I discussed the many lessons that can be learned from the traditional neighborhood watch schemes which were first introduced in the UK in 1982 with one objective – to reduce crime. Cyber experts have long talked about having ‘trust communities’ to share information and learn from each other.
Indeed, the UK government has set aside £650m of new money as part of their Cyber Crime Strategy to better protect key infrastructure and defense assets from “cyber warfare”. Much of the strategy focuses on improving links with the private sector on the issue of cybercrime – with “hubs” to allow information to be shared on cyber threats and a pledge to look at new ways to bring together businesses, academics and government to exploit the latest innovations in tackling the threat.
Cybercrime is a global problem and any scheme deployed must be global. There seems to a be a considerable amount of opposition to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which is a proposed law in the United States which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies. The stated aim of the bill is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyber attack. CISPA would “waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cyber security,” Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime Web entrepreneur, said during the debate. “Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on.”
The loss of individual privacy seems to be part of the main opposition. However in complete contrast, the proposed EU Data Protection Directive actually wants to tighten the rules on individual privacy for all the EU citizens. If we are going to win the race of protecting our cyber space then maybe the answer is a happy medium between the two? Regardless, any regulation surely needs to be a global initiative so that all countries can be held responsible and better information sharing is promoted between government organizations between countries and private organizations. This could be difficult as some nation states would never join but surely if the majority was bought into a common scheme under a common goal we could be taking the right steps to protect ourselves?