If you thought Y2K was bad, wait until cyber-security hits


"All the while maintaining that the government will not set IT security
requirements for the private sector, top federal IT officials today said
they expect such mandates will be imposed on federal agencies and that the
same standards will also be used by industry."

While standards are great, one-size-fits-all standards aren't. When the
government's cyber-security plan is released in September, will
there be 500 requirements that Internet Service Providers must meet?
Should ISPs be more secure than the post office or the telephone or the
bike messenger? Must Bill's Bait & Sushi Shop ISP Service meet the same
security requirements as the ISP for the White House?

ISPs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Consumers use cordless
phones at home, but the NSA prohibits use of cordless phones in secure
areas. Just because the government issues a security standard doesn't make
it suitable for all purposes. Some people like paying $9.95 for Internet
service from an ISP without a backup generator, and wouldn't want to pay
$29.95 for a "certified" ISP with a backup generator. If the $9.95 ISP
fails, heck they could almost afford two more for the same price as a
single "certified" ISP. Sometimes a hammer is just a hammer, and you
don't need a MIL-SPEC. If the Department of Homeland Security creates a
new security standard for ISPs, what do you think will happen to any ISP
which doesn't meet it?

   Backup generators? That's far too mundane. Check out this quote from

  "The routing tables of the future will be unmanageable; there will
  slowdown and failures, and malicious and criminal activity between
  2002 and 2009 all mean the Internet quits working," warned Schmidt.
  He even forecast a future in which "special aircraft will be flying
  the routing tables" physically to servers after periodic network brownouts.

  Perhap ISP's can differentiate themselves by whether their required
"special aircraft" are super-sonic or sub-sonic. Do we need an update
for RFC1149 (BGP over F-16's?).

Has Howard Schmidt offered to eat his words if his version of the
Internet Apocalypse doesn't happen by 2009?

James Smallacombe PlantageNet, Inc. CEO and Janitor
up@3.am http://3.am