Uncle Sam may not monitor e-mails. (Up front: news, trends & analysis).Uncle Sam Uncle Sam, name used to designate the U.S. government. The term arose in the War of 1812 and seems at first to have been used derisively by those opposed to the war. Possibly it was an expansion of the letters "U.S. may not be monitoring your online purchases and e-mail messages anytime soon. The Bush administration's proposed plans for an Internet-wide network operations and monitoring center to detect and defend against major cyber attacks have been scaled back.
The White House wanted Internet service providers Internet service provider (ISP)
Company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. For a monthly fee, ISPs provide computer users with a connection to their site (see data transmission), as well as a log-in name and password. (ISPs) to help create a system to monitor Internet use. As part of the government's Homeland Defense strategy, President Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection Department of Defense (DOD) program to identify and protect assets critical to the Defense Transportation System. Loss of a critical asset would result in failure to support the mission of a combatant commander. Board began work last year on the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace In the United States government, the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, is a component of the larger National Strategy for Homeland Security. The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace was drafted by the Department of Homeland Security in reaction to the September 11, 2001 .
Part of the effort was aimed at getting ISPs to work together to share information quickly during cyber attacks and virus outbreaks. Currently, each ISP (1) See in-system programmable.
(2) (Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Connection to the user is provided via dial-up, ISDN, cable, DSL and T1/T3 lines. acts independently and has its own network operations center See NOC.
Network Operations Center - (NOC) A location from which the operation of a network or internet is monitored. Additionally, this center usually serves as a clearinghouse for connectivity problems and efforts to resolve those problems. (NOC (Network Operations Center) A central or regional location for monitoring a large network. Also called a "network management center" (NMC), "service management center" (SMC) or "network control center" (NCC), a NOC may be used to manage a large enterprise network, ) that allows security specialists to constantly monitor network traffic and catch outages, viruses, and attacks before they can wreak havoc.
The administration wanted to formalize such data sharing by creating a cyberspace NOC that would serve as a central clearinghouse for such information. But many, including ISPs, were not convinced the potential security benefits would outweigh the privacy risks. Under current federal wiretap wiretap n. using an electronic device to listen in on telephone lines, which is illegal unless allowed by court order based upon a showing by law enforcement of "probable cause" to believe the communications are part of criminal activities. laws, privately operated centers can, in some circumstances, analyze e-mails and other data flowing across parts of the Internet without a judge's approval.
Some Internet-industry executives and lawyers said they would raise serious civil-liberties concerns if the U.S. government, not an industry consortium, were to operate an Internet monitoring center. But Richard Clarke, Bush's former cyberspace advisor, said the government would not eavesdrop eaves·drop
intr.v. eaves·dropped, eaves·drop·ping, eaves·drops
To listen secretly to the private conversation of others. on individuals' e-mails and that its plan articulated a strong policy of protecting citizens' cyberspace privacy.
The final draft of the document, released in mid-February, proposes a limited role for the federal government and suggests that industry should take the lead in securing the Internet. It proposes that the government: set up a national cyberspace monitoring system, push more secure Internet security standards, create a reliable system for vulnerability disclosure, and improve cyber-security training.
The Bush administration also was forced to scale back its plan to monitor U.S. citizens' information in an attempt to identify terrorists. Congress recently agreed to suspend funding for the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness (TIA (1) (Telecommunications Industry Association, Arlington, VA, www.tiaonline.org) A membership organization founded in 1988 that sets telecommunications standards worldwide. It was originally an EIA working group that was spun off and merged with the U.S. ) program, whose purpose is to search for potential terrorists by monitoring information gathered from Americans' bank accounts, medical records, credit card purchases, and academic records. The controversial data-mining program, led by retired admiral John Poindexter, who was convicted of lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal, has been called an expansive surveillance program by some.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) cosponsored an amendment to the budget bill that suspended funding for the TIA program until the Bush administration
* explained it to Congress in detail, including its impact on civil liberties
* barred any use of the technology against U.S. citizens without prior congressional approval
One hundred senators voted in favor of the provision to set limits on the administration's ability to snoop into the private lives of Americans. But before it can become law, Congress must reach an agreement on the overall spending bill in which it was included. Even then, President Bush can veto the entire bill.