White House announces anti-botnet initiative

I was reading yesterday that the White House has announced an anti-botnet initiative in order to further its online safety agenda.

From Engadget:

The White House has been drumming up momentum for tighter internet privacy laws for a while now, and today it's furthering that online safety agenda with a new initiative for combating botnets. Washington just announced a pilot program for fighting viruses, citing a whopping five million PCs infected worldwide this year.

The program will use principles outlined by the Industry Botnet Group (IDG), with the main goal being to educate internet users on the dangers of cyberspace while preventing botnets from spreading by sharing data about infected computers. The White House is working with the Information Sharing and Analysis Center to develop and implement the "botnet pilot," presumably to enact those anti-virus principles.

This announcement is a long time coming and follows the examples set by Australia and Germany.  Both of those countries have organized campaigns to deal with botnets.

The United States is not the worst country when it comes to botnets, those are located in the developing world.  However, they are not the best, either.  Scandinavia is the best and the US would do well to learn from what works for them and implement the same policies.

The IDG was formed in January 2012 and is composed of a group of companies, trade associations and NGO’s.  They recommend the following:

  • Share cyber responsibilities;

  • Coordinate across sectors in order to better analyze, prevent, and combat threats (similar to PrECISE Act and CISPA);
  • Confront the problem globally through cross-border collaboration (somewhat similar to CISPA);
  • Report lessons learned with partners in the Internet ecosystem;
  • Educate users by making information and resources available to them;
  • Preserve flexibility for responses by different entities to an ever-evolving threat environment;
  • Promote innovation to foster technological advances (similar to Cybersecurity Enhancement Act);
  • Respect privacy (similar to the PrECISE Act); and
  • Navigate the complex legal environment.

You can see that much of what is being proposed in the civilian world is being followed by government; you can read my summary of upcoming cyber legislation here.

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