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Re: White House asks companies for help with new government computer network
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 03:07:27 -0500 (CDT)

Forwarded from: Felix von Leitner <leitner () vim org>

Thus spake InfoSec News (isn () c4i org):
http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/svfront/042802.htm

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After one day on the job, the president's
cyberspace security adviser asked computer companies Wednesday to
help design a new secure telecommunications network for government
use.

Richard Clarke said he wants the network, called GOVNET, to be
separate from the Internet to keep it safe from hackers or
terrorists.

  a. the seperation will not help against a terrorist with a bomb.  
     In the contrary, businesses lose real money if their fat pipes
     are severed, so they fix it real fast.  Government is known to
     not be able to do _anything_ fast.

  b. they don't even consider using secure systems.  They have
     accepted as fact that computers crash and are insecure.  
     Too much Windows exposure?

Government agencies would use GOVNET for voice and data
communications, and possibly for videoconferences presidential
advisers have used since the Sept. 11 attacks.

If I was a US citizen I would be concerned that they waste money on
meta-administration instead of actually doing something.  The only
action I have seen so far is "bomb the Afghans, although we don't have
any proof" and "make hacking as severe a crime as first degree
murder". Great work, guys.  I would be really angry to see my tax
money being used against me.

The nation's counterterrorism chief for more than a decade, Clarke
has pressed private industry to increase computer security by
improving its own products.

If he actually wanted to do something about software quality, he would
simply make it easy for customers to file lawsuits against software
makers for bad products.  If Microsoft owed me a doller for every time
I had to reboot Windoze for no good reason they would have made a
loss.

In times where McDonald's is sued for hot coffee, why isn't Microsoft
sued for all the damage they cause by selling software that is
"designed for virus replication"?
(http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/office/2001/virus_alert.asp)

All this insecurity propaganda is just that: propaganda.  The
government wants to raise money for its bureaucracy, and that works
best if you hype your job as if it were the only way to avoid or get
out of a national crisis.

``We'll be working even more with them in the future, to secure
our cyberspace from a range of possible threats, from hackers to
criminals to terrorist groups, to foreign nations, which might use
cyber war against us,'' Clarke said Tuesday when his new job was
announced.

Now _this_ concidence is almost spooky! ;)

From his previous post at the National Security Council, he warned
that America's fledgling Internet was vulnerable to a ``digital
Pearl Harbor'' that could badly disrupt communications.

Oh yeah, a national catastrophy will happen unless you pump your money
my way...

Those warnings were echoed Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where
experts told Congress that part of the problem is that current
computer systems were not designed with security in mind.

chant with me: "pump all your money to me"

Recent independent reviews have shown computers at many government
agencies are open to a hacker attack. In theory, GOVNET would be
impervious to outside assault -- particularly from lone young
hackers, the most common Internet attacker.

Wow, now this is obviously the result of long-winded in-depth
analysis, like a walk to the next b-movie video rental.

The GOVNET proposal could cost billions of dollars.

No, really?!  But they are worth it, because there would be a national
catastrophy otherwise!1!!

The government wants the network up and running six months after a
contractor is picked, although there is no deadline for the
contract to be awarded.

Ah, a contractor.  So this is actually a subsidy for the weak US
network companies.

I wonder if they will pick Nortel or Cisco...

``A system like this can help us break through the cloud of the
Internet and provide a separate network where the integrity of
government information can be protected,'' said Sen. Robert
Bennett, R-Utah, a leader on computer security issues.

Hahaha, man, that sentence sure had leadership oozing out of every
pore! This guy is obviously a technician who really knows what he is
talking about.

Felix



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