To Serve & Protect
Cyber Security Research Bill
By Josh Long
Congress passed The Cyber Security
Research and Development Act in November, marking yet another federal effort to
crack down on crime and terrorism over the Web. President Bush had not signed
the bill as of press time in late November.
The bill earmarks about $903 million
over five years for cyber-security research and development and research
The National Science Foundation and
other agencies will spearhead research and development activities but could
partner with technology companies such as AT&T Labs and Telcordia
Technologies Inc., whose parent company Science Applications International Corp.
has extensive government contracts in the area of homeland security and
frequently brings in Telcordia as a partner, spokesman Norm Booth says.
"It doesn’t provide direct
funding for products but of course we believe IT companies will benefit
indirectly from the research areas," says Shannon Kellogg, vice president
of information security programs and policy, at the Information Technology
Association of America, which represents more than 400 companies including
AT&T Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
For instance, under the National
Science Foundation, universities will establish centers for computer and network
security research either alone or in concert with other universities or
businesses and government labs, Kellogg says.
Though the funds have been
authorized, it is "never a sure thing" that the money will be
appropriated, he says. The money could be appropriated next year or in 2004,
Computer security breaches more than
doubled in 2001, totaling at least 52,000 incidents, according to statistics
from Carnegie Mellon University. The number of incidents reported continues to
grow with about 73,000 incidents during the first three quarters of this year.
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