Cyber Plan Delay Invites Much-Needed Public Comment

Now that a public comment period has been introduced, it's time for our readers to add their input.

This was to be the week when President Bushs National Strategy to Secure Cyber Space was to be officially unveiled. The culmination of months of work by the Presidents Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and its chairman, Richard Clarke, the cyber-strategy will be discussed this week, but its release has now been delayed until December while White House officials solicit public comment.

This delay is not unexpected, if you have been reading the coverage of the strategy for the past month in eWEEK and on Caron Carlson and our team of reporters and editors, who have had access to a draft of the report, wrote on Sept. 9 that few members of Congress had been tapped for any input to the plan, despite the fact that the draft specifically stated that "broad support and consensus" would be sought.

Admittedly, the CIPB report may not have the urgency of Bushs agenda regarding Iraq, but the cyber-strategy will have an impact on our nations technology infrastructure and will directly influence the security and privacy of individual and corporate information as well as the responsibilities of information technology officers in government, education and business entities.

The delay obviously postpones efforts to put the plan into action, but still, it is necessary. As we have also seen in our reporting, any input will reshape the final form of the strategy. Already since our first stories, the government has softened the language regarding ISPs, modifying the recommendation that ISPs give consumers personal firewall software when they sign up for broadband Internet service. The service providers complained that supporting millions of users unfamiliar with security technology would be an expensive logistical nightmare.

In addition, the White House has backed down from many proposals, including one for a "czar" to oversee privacy, and toned down the restrictions on WLANs in federal offices.

eWEEK has been first on this story and has stayed in the lead. Now that a public comment period has been introduced, its time for our readers to add their input. Read or re-read our special report and consider: What do you think of Bushs plan? What does it need? What should be taken out? Your input can help us help you stay in the lead with the technology news you need.

Scot Petersen can be reached at

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...