Wikileaks backlash highlights danger of cyber threats

As supporters of Wikileaks take aim at the websites of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and others who have reacted to the release of secret documents by cutting off service to Wikileaks, federal lawmakers say the incident shows the need for “more robust” cyber security efforts in the U.S.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper (D) has authored legislation along with Senators Joe Lieberman (I- Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would form a public/private partnership to improve the nation’s cyber security defenses.  “Today’s events, once again, underscore the necessity for more robust cybersecurity efforts in the United States,” Carper says.  “Time and time again, hackers have demonstrated their ruthless yet effective techniques to attack critical cyber networks.”

Opponents of the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 say it would give the federal government the power to seize control or even shut down parts of the internet if they saw it as a threat.  

The bill would establish a new division of the Department of Homeland Security called the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications.  The director of that center would enforce cybersecurity policies in the government and the private sector.

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