Privacy experts question Obama’s strategy to tackle cyber threats

The Guardian reports: Cybersecurity and digital privacy experts are questioning the need for Barack Obama’s latest bureaucratic initiative, a new agency spurred by the massive Sony hack that critics fear will expand the government’s role into monitoring online data networks on security grounds.

White House security adviser Lisa Monaco planned to unveil on Tuesday the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, the name of which speaks to its position within a US intelligence community whose ongoing, surreptitious reach over the internet has attracted global skepticism.

The remit of the new center, subordinate to the office of the director of national intelligence and modelled on the National Counterterrorism Center, is said to be the combination of the various intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies’ understanding and analysis of new or emerging malicious cyber-attacks.

Over the past five years, the administration has stood up new entities, such as the National Security Agency’s military twin US Cyber Command, or expanded the remit of others, like the Department of Homeland Security, to safeguard government – and increasingly civilian – networks.

“Given the number of other agencies that have cybersecurity threat integration responsibilities, it’s not clear that a new agency is needed,” said Greg Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. [Continue reading…]

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