Who Will Pay to Protect the Internet?

Last Updated Dec 3, 2009 7:33 PM EST

Corporate America doesn't fully fear a cyber-terrorism event and therefore won't adequately invest in the Internet's security, according to a new report by the Internet Security Alliance, a trade association backed by companies like Lockheed Martin, Nortel, Verizon and Northrop Grumman.
But new cybersecurity mandates on businesses, such as those proposed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, could hurt the economy. And regulations can't stay up-to-date with hackers, according to the ISA.

That's why the group has proposed a new public/private partnership that would incentivize the development of an improved national cybersecurity infrastructure through tax breaks and other government/industry-supported standards.

The ISA argues that the government should treat the web like any other utility and thus create the market conditions which will "encourage private corporations to make investments that move beyond their legally-mandated goal of maximizing shareholder value to serve the public interest."

Do you think this is the best way to address the cybersecurity threat? Please share your thoughts below.

  • Stefan Deeran

    Stefan Deeran helps environmental nonprofits and green businesses develop and execute their new media campaigns. He also publishes The Exception magazine, a nonpartisan news platform serving his home state of Maine. You can follow him on Twitter @RStefanDeeran or via Facebook.