US creates new agency in response to Sony hack

The US government response to the Sony hack is straight out of the Washington playbook – create another agency, thereby enlarging the size of government further. Yes, get ready for another security agency, which is in the works to combat the security breaches exposed by the Sony hack. By the way, this should serve as a cautionary tale for all those swooning over the administration’s and FCC’s pro net neutrality posture. Before long there will probably be an Internet Agency. This latest government reaction, to add to the alphabet soup of agencies, amounts to a bailout for corporations paid for with taxpayer dollars, and an opportunity for spy agencies to collect more data from private citizens.

More than cause Sony financial harm, the attack on Sony highlights how vulnerable corporations are to such hacks, and how ill prepared they are to prevent such intrusions. Further, it underscores just how ineffective government agencies are in sniffing out possible threats, even given the egregious volume of information they collect and sift. So, we reward their incompetence by creating another agency to further muddy the trolling waters? The Obama administration has an insatiable appetite for obfuscation and control of our lives.

The new creation, unveiled last week at a DC think-tank meeting By Obama’s Homeland Security Counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco is theatrically named the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC)- already claiming superiority in the alphabet-soup nomenclature with five letters to outrank NSA, CIA, FBI, FCC and DHS, so it is bound to surpass them in efficacy. We wish.

Monaco told Reuters that the newly formed entity will fill in the gaps created by overlaps in the existing agencies, and therefore will be a welcome addition to the Washington monolith,

Currently, no single government entity is responsible for producing coordinated cyber threat assessments. This is filling a critical gap.

Naturally, since the expense will be footed mainly by the taxpaying public, and not expressly by corporations, the CTIIC is welcomed by many in the industry. It is unclear if they would be so enthusiastic if they were to be subject to a project specific tax levy for the added security.

One such CTIIC enthusiast is the chief technology officer at security analyst firm RedSeal, Mike Lloyd, who said,

The idea of a cyber intelligence hub is a good and timely one. Modern cyber security still has a lot to learn from traditional military strategists, including the central role of a ’war room’- a single location where complex flows of data about the fight can be centralized, filtered, compared, mapped out and acted on. This is the main way to cut through the fog of war.

It remains to be seen if this will cut through the fog of Foggy Bottom’s maze of agencies and regulations.

I get worried every time the word “war’’ is affixed to fighting a problem. One need only look at the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on terrorism, et al., as failing propositions and dubious ways to right wrongs and correct inefficiencies. This latest effort has all the earmarks of another boondoggle in the making, and is another sign that this administration still hasn’t gotten the message that we want less not more government intrusion.

Stan Ward has enjoyed writing for 50 years. Writing has been a comfortable companion to a successful business and teaching career for him. Find him on Google+.

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