The Land of the Free, which revolted against a penny a year tax which was designed to pay for its defence, is ordering companies to turn over control of their networks to a government department.
New laws are being drafted up which will give the Department of Homeland Security some amount of regulatory control over private networks
“The Homeland Security Cyber and Physical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2010,” will empower DHS to set cybersecurity standards for some private networks that are considered critical infrastructure.
It will create a Cybersecurity Compliance Division which will pop around and see if network managers are doing what the spooks say they should.
The DHS will have to work with network operators, to develop tailored security plans that meet risk-based, performance-based standards.
However the DHS will have to share threat intelligence and protect proprietary information.
Part of the problem in the US has been that the local utility companies have monopolies and thought that they could afford to skimp on security.
But the law could also apply to whichever company’s security is considered important to the defence of the US.
For example banks, Wall Street and Walt-Disney might come under Homeland Security’s powers.
The belief that a government department could tell Wall Street about security is a bit of a joke, but too much law based on terror fears often bring out dafter ideas.