Cyber Security Legislation
Legislation evolves as society grows. And, this is no different when it comes to technological innovation as new developments challenge the way current laws are written. Naturally, this has created much debate about the laws related to the internet and cyber security. The truth is that much of the debate commonly revolves around understanding. Therefore, both law makers, government officials and interest groups all play a role in debating the language and defining the guidelines of cyber security legislation.
The issue with cyber security legislation
Our law makers often lack a detailed understanding of new technologies and as a result, have a tendency to write bills using broad language. When a law is created using general definitions, it leaves the door open for interpretation. And, when there is room for interpretation, this creates a situation that allows governments and law makers to have the power to enact measures as they see fit.
From a technology perspective, this could have a significant impact on our ability to access, use, and share content online. Broad language could also provide law makers with the tools to infringe on our personal space and accounts, by accessing and monitoring how we communicate online.
Therefore, cyber security legislation must be written in a fashion that protect internet users, government agencies and businesses, but does not sacrifice their ability to be properly protected from all threats. This is why interest groups are so important. They serve as a check on the government and work to protect people rights when it comes to using technology.
Cyber Security Act of 2012
The United States congress has attempted to create legislation to spearhead the threat of cyber threats and crimes with the Cyber-Security Act. However, the bill has received much criticism from groups such as SOPA, PIPA, EFF and other internet groups because of the loose wording that is included in the bill.
These groups are concerned about the amount of power that the legislation could grant authorities and potentially place constraints and reduce the freedoms on internet users. The bill was developed in response to the increased amount of cyber terror activities and the threat that is posed by groups such as Anonymous.
Canada and cyber security legislation
The Canadian federal and provincial governments have taken steps to help protect internet users from online crime and threats. The basis of how they will protect citizens is outlined in the following documents:
* Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy
* National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure
Actions taken by the Canadian government
Here are some of the actions that are being taken by the Canadian government to protect against online security threats:
* Making adjustments to the criminal code as technology evolves over time
* CyberTips.ca – A tip line for users to report online issues
* The Canadian Cyber Incident Response Center - Created to monitor cyber threats
Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy
Brought into effect on October 3rd, 2010, this document outlines the Canadian government strategy for dealing with cyber-crime and threats that exist for the government and citizens.
The strategy is meant to reflect Canadian laws and values, integrate security activities and make improvements regularly to protect against online threats. The strategy based on three pillars:
1. Secure government systems: This is meant to protect Canadians personal data and information.
2. Creating partnerships to secure online systems outside the government: These are partnerships with provincial government and private sector companies.
3. Educating Canadian internet users about how to be secure online: This provides both Canadians and law enforcement with the information and tools to fight cyber-crime.
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