"Securing the Internet" Event Highlighted Public and Private Sector Roles
WASHINGTON D.C. - Earlier this year The Progress & Freedom Foundation's Securing the Internet Project hosted a full-day conference titled "Securing the Internet: The Role of Consumers, Industry and Government." The Internet Security Summit explored the nature of and appropriate responses to security issues and outlined ways all stakeholders can help create a culture of security. In light of the continued spotlight on data security issues and their importance in a healthy in environment for e-commerce, PFF is releasing a transcript of the May 10 event.
The Summit offered an opening keynote address by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, who outlined the day's agenda and explained the FTC's role in data security. "The FTC has made the protection of consumers' privacy, on and offline, a priority," Majoras explained. "But law enforcement alone will not sufficiently transform Internet security. Consumers must be sufficiently educated so that they are empowered to secure themselves. Businesses, government agencies, and universities must take responsibility for securing data. Policymakers must refrain from denying consumers the vast benefits of the digital world in the name of security. And all of our work must, to match the Internet, be executed on a global basis." Majoras also took the opportunity to announce the settlement of the FTC's 13th case involving data security practices. PFF is releasing this transcript on the eve of the FTC's Tech-Ade hearings Nov. 6-8, in which privacy and security will be among the issues debated.
The conference transcript also features remarks and debate from four discussion panels: "Defining Security Issues: Their Nature and Magnitude," "Protecting Consumers: Who is Responsible," "The Role of Industry: Does Investing in Security Pay?," and "The Role of Government: What Can It Do?" Each panel concentrated on one specific stakeholder in information security and included participants from government, industry and academia.
Panel participants at the Summit included Canadian government official Peter Ferguson, Director of Electronic Commerce Policy with the Electronic Commerce Branch of Industry Canada, who presented an international perspective of government responses to security. Ferguson is Chair of the OECD Working Party on Information Security and Privacy and former Chair and Vice-Chair of the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Group. Robert Cresanti, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, discussed the role of government in response to data security breaches. Other featured speakers included Ken Nahigian, Counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee; David Cavicke, General Counsel for the House Commerce Committee and Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection; FTC Commissioner Bill Kovacic; Emory University Professor of Law and Economics Paul Rubin, who is a PFF adjunct fellow; and George Mason University School of Law Professor Bruce Kobayashi, who has just joined PFF as an adjunct fellow.
The Securing the Internet Project, launched last November and led by Distinguished Fellow Orson Swindle, former FTC Commissioner, was established to promote dialogue on the issues of information privacy and security. The first report released by the project, "Managing Information and its Security: The Role of Policymakers, the Private Sector and Consumers," identified three key concepts deemed vital to future security solutions. These are: a commitment to the continued legitimate flow of information that drives today's commerce; an enhanced respect for individual privacy and a commitment to protect sensitive information; and effective means to minimize vulnerabilities to this vital part of our critical national infrastructure and security. Swindle moderated one of the four discussion panels at the Summit. The other moderators were three PFF senior fellows; PFF President Daniel W. Caprio, Jr., Senior Vice President for Research Thomas M. Lenard, and Vice President for Communications and External Affairs Patrick Ross.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.