At a glance.
- US Secretary of State says Russia will face "costs and consequences."
- Op-ed: closer ties between DHS and NSA.
- Big Tech on Section 230 reform.
- Report: US Executive Order expected to mandate disclosure.
US Secretary of State: Russia will face “costs and consequences.”
Voice of America reports Secretary Blinken’s comments that Washington, in coordination with NATO members, “will take the steps necessary to defend our interests” against Russian mischief. Blinken’s message followed President Biden’s recent remarks that “[t]he price [Putin’s] going to pay, well, you’ll see shortly.” President Biden also noted that “there are places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together."
Closer cooperation between DHS and NSA?
In a Washington Post editorial, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates weighs in on the debate surrounding the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) limited visibility into domestic networks. He rules out three possibilities: increasing NSA authorities is “not politically feasible,” public-private partnership “would be challenging to operationalize,” and there aren’t sufficient resources to create a “domestic equivalent to the NSA.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has legal responsibility for domestic networks, but limited cyber capacity. What Gates suggested a decade ago was establishing a connection between the DHS and NSA, with “appropriate structural and regulatory safeguards,” that would allow a DHS official to tap NSA capabilities when necessary. (President Obama greenlighted the plan, but it never came to pass.) Gates says this speedy solution could be executed without new laws.
Big Tech testifies before the House on Section 230 reform.
Last week two House subcommittees spoke some more about Section 230 with guest appearances by Messrs. Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Pichai. Quartz has an account of the proceedings. Zuckerberg advocated for modest revisions centered on methods rather than results, an evolution from his comments last October. Pichai defended the law and proposed improved transparency as an alternative to 230 reform. Dorsey spoke about trust and mostly kept his 230 opinions quiet, besides pointing out the difficulty of distinguishing large from small platforms, as Zuckerberg’s pitch requires. The CEOs’ competing stances could weaken their negotiating position, according to Quartz.
US Executive Order may mandate breach disclosure, security upgrades.
SecurityWeek says the Biden Administration could issue an Executive Order (EO) this week that would enhance Government agencies’ multi-factor authentication and encryption standards and impose new requirements on Government software vendors. The proposed EO would compel vendors to alert Government clients of data breaches, supply a “bill of materials” to those running “critical” functions, and collaborate with Government agencies on incident response.