Cybersecurity legislation: The debate continues onof cybersecurity legislation, which many lawmakers would like to see passed this session. On Thursday, the White House issued a statement supporting the measure sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The statement did say, however, that the White House would not support the bill if it were amended to reduce the government’s current input in coordinating cybersecurity practices, weaken the Department of Homeland Security’s statutory authorities or “substantially” expand the liability protections for the private sector.
Passing cybersecurity legislation is a top priority for lawmakers in both parties, but there has been a lot of disagreement over provisions in specific legislation. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told the Hill that they will back the Liberman-Collins bill as long as there is an open amendment process, the Hill reported.
Google Fiber launches: Google announced Thursday that it has launched Google Fiber in Kansas City, Mo. and is allowing potential customers for the fiber-optic service to pre-register.
“All you need to do for pre-registration is provide some basic information (like your name and address) and pay a $10 deposit,” the company wrote in a blog post Thursday.
Google said that the it will roll out the service in small communities — called “fiberhoods” — that demonstrate the most interest. Communities that lobby the hardest for service over the next six weeks will get priority, and Google said it will also connect schools, libraries and hospitals in the winning areas to the super-fast gigabit network.
Gigabit Internet plus TV service will cost $120 per month, Internet alone will cost $70 per month, and a free Internet plan will require a $300 construction fee.
Justice Dept. training lawyers on cyber threats: The Justice Deparment is training prosecutors in the best ways to combat and prosecute cyber espionage, The Washington Post reported. Justice has been training more than 300 lawyers in the legal and technical skill they need to prosecute these crimes following an internal review that exposed gaps in its ability to deal with the growing threat.
The U.S. intelligence community has said that China and Russia pose the greatest cyber espionage threats to the country, the report said, and that the U.S. is not ready for a large-scale cyber attack.
Skype makes data more open to police: The voice-over IP service Skype said Wednesday that it has changed the way that it stores user data and chats in such a way that it will be more accessible to the government. As The Washington Post reported, Skype has a difficult problem on its hands because as it becomes a popular channel for telecommunications it’s also drawing attention as a good way for criminals to “go dark.”
The changes, which give the authorities access to addresses and credit card numbers, have drawn quiet applause in law enforcement circles but hostility from many activists and analysts.