Cybersecurity
June 25, 2015
Can the United States balance safety and privacy?

As online attacks grow in volume and sophistication, the United States is expanding its cybersecurity efforts. Threats come from both criminals and hostile countries, especially China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. They aim to spy on and disrupt American businesses and government. The CIA has created a directorate to improve cybersecurity and conduct cyberespionage, and the nation’s top spy wants the country to be even more aggressive. The United States already conducts massive online spying and was recently discovered to have embedded surveillance and sabotage tools in U.S.-made computers and networks used in China, Russia and elsewhere. Meanwhile, high-tech companies are building powerful privacy protections into their consumer electronics, to the dismay of law enforcement and espionage agencies that fear these efforts will harm their investigations.

At a time when the computer systems of U.S. companies and government agencies are under attack by criminals and hostile countries, Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, says the United States must play greater offense in the cyber arena. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)   At a time when the computer systems of U.S. companies and government agencies are under attack by criminals and hostile countries, Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, says the United States must play greater offense in the cyber arena. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

As the United States expands its efforts to repel cyberattacks, U.S. businesses and the federal government find themselves in conflict over how to balance security and privacy. Online attacks by criminals and hostile nations are growing in volume and sophistication, according to Chris Doggett, North America managing director of Kaspersky Lab, a major online security firm headquartered in Moscow.

“Organized crime has started to really become a major player in the cyberthreat landscape,” Doggett said. Attackers have become “more and more sophisticated, and more and more elusive. So it’s become harder and harder to uncover these operations.” 1

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