Friday, December 03, 2004

Can you take the Internet seriously?


Former CIA Director George J. Tenet yesterday called for new security measures to guard against attacks on the United States that use the Internet, which he called "a potential Achilles' heel."

"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said.

Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said.

Mr. Tenet called for industry to lead the way by "establishing and enforcing" security standards. Products need to be delivered to government and private-sector customers "with a new level of security and risk management already built in."

The national press, including United Press International (UPI), were excluded from yesterday's event, at Mr. Tenet's request, organizers said.


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