Cyber roundup (4/20): More CISPA, hackers bring down U.S. website covering Bo Xilai, Lawfare interviews the Estonian president, an NSTIC update, and authenticity v. anonymity

A quick survey of today's cyber news . . .


On 4/18, Jason Koebler reported for the Chicago Tribune on how Rep. Mike Rogers, the author of CISPA, explained that the bill is designed to stop Chinese cyber-espionage.  According to Rep. Rogers, China is an "economic predator" because it "has stolen so much [IP] that it would be considered 50 times the print collection of the United States Library of Congress."

As the debate rages over whether CISPA goes too far, Mike McConnell (former U.S. national intel director) believes that the bill doesn't go far enough.  According to a Bloomberg article written by Eric Engleman and Juliann Francis, McConnell believes that the threat of cyber-espionage necessitates mandatory information sharing between the private sector and U.S. government.  CISPA only calls for voluntary information sharing.

Not necessarily CISPA news, but Gerry Smith reported for the Huffington Post on how the PRECISE Act (yet another House cybersecurity bill) just got significantly weaker.  Apparently Rep. Dan Lungren dropped a provision from the bill that would allow DHS to create cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure providers.  The change was due to pressure from fellow Republicans who aren't too keen on the idea of cybersecurity regulation for private industry.


On 4/20, Christopher Bodeen reported for the Associated Press on how a U.S. website that covered the Bo Xilai controversy has come under massive cyberattack.  Bo Xilai, formerly one of China's most powerful politicians, is facing accusations of covering up his wife's involvement in a murder plot.  According to the AP, the U.S. based website had to move to a new web hosting service after suffering a massive cyberattack. 


Jack Goldsmith had a very interesting interview with Toomas Henrik Ilves, the President of Estonia.  You can find the podcast here on the Lawfare website.  I've also embedded it below:


John Fontana wrote for ZDNet on NSTIC.  The article chronicled NSTIC's progress, noting that NSTIC has managed to get a lot done in a short time (especially by Washington's standards) but there is still a desire for more tangible results.  Nevertheless, with NSTIC's pilot funding program grinding into gear, the program is showing significant movement.  Specifically, the government is going to be playing a greater role as an identity ecosystem relying party.  Jeremy Grant, head of NIST (and therefore NSTIC), noted that three federal agencies should align with NSTIC by the end of the year. 


Aleks Krotoski wrote for The Guardian on the battle between identity authenticity and anonymity on the internet.  According to the article, there is a "critical mass of people who want to see online interactions supported by 'authentic' identity."  We can see that on platforms like Facebook and Google+; both require the user to provide their real name.  However, the article cited the founder of the website 4chan (the dive bar of the internet and the birthplace of Anonymous) as saying that identity is prismatic, and that real name protocols are too limiting.  Indeed, 4chan assures anonymity by allowing users to post without registering.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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