Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. AP Photo/Jim Cole

This Is the Only Cyber Security Plan Any 2016 Candidate Has Offered

Jeb Bush is a true hawk when it comes to U.S. cyber defense. But only a modest portion of his proposals could be called new.

Last month, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush announced his cybersecurity platform. You can read his proposals here; essential points are summarized and analyzed below. While Bush’s stance on issues like net neutralityencryption, and NSA surveillance has made him the target of a lot of hyperbolic criticism, he is the first of the 2016 presidential candidates to announce a specific cybersecurity platform. As other candidates release their stance on the issue, we’ll keep you up-to-date on what they’re saying, whether it’s viable, and its likely impact on U.S. foreign policy.

The Platform

Take cyber seriously. According to Bush, the federal government and businesses need to see cybersecurity as “a critical element of our national defense and economic well-being.” To achieve that, the government needs a focus at the executive level on improving cybersecurity and creating accountability for breaches. Bush would expand the cyber capabilities of law enforcement and the intelligence community. He also proposes making it easier for government agencies and private companies to share best practices and information about cybersecurity incidents.

Get tough on adversaries and work closely with allies. Bush wants to raise the cost of cyber incidents that steal intellectual property from U.S. businesses by exposing, prosecuting, and potentially retaliating. To do that, Bush says he would work with other countries to establish an international legal framework for prosecuting cybercriminals. He also plans to increase cooperation and discussion of cybersecurity with U.S. allies and maintain control over the IANA functions.

Promote innovation. In line with his economic plan, Bush proposes lowering taxes and removing regulations that impose compliance costs on companies. He argues that these make it difficult for small companies to raise capital to support the development of new technologies that might increase cybersecurity. He also wants to reform immigration to help attract highly-skilled immigrants who can contribute to tech companies and give them more opportunities to stay in the United States.

Viability and Impact

Jeb Bush clearly plans to take cybersecurity seriously. However, among his proposals, there’s a lot that’s not new. As my colleague Rob Knake said after the platform was announced, “It’s a ringing endorsement of the approach the Obama administration has taken.” Bush will be hard pressed to take cyber more seriously than the current administration: spending on cyber is one of the only areas of the federal budget that has largely escaped the ax of sequestration and continues to grow. And it’s not clear that more funding or would go into efforts that actually improve cybersecurity. Simply filling the ranks of already-funded positions is proving hard, as the federal government competes with the private sector to attract the best cybersecurity talent. It’s looking like the Department of Defense may not reach its goal of a six thousand person strong force at U.S. Cyber Command by 2016. As for information sharing, Congress is already considering legislation to do just what Bush proposes. And while it has been criticized by privacy advocates concerned about businesses sharing user data with the government, companies are already coming together to share information among themselves.

Bush says he wants to “expose, prosecute, and in some cases retaliate” against individuals who steal intellectual property from U.S. companies to “increase deterrence of future attacks.” There are a number of issues with this proposal. Despite the claims of federal government officials, attribution is still a tricky issue. It’s hard to retaliate when you only have medium confidence that a specific actor is behind a hack. Making a legal case for retaliation is also something that needs to be worked out.

It’s also unclear what Bush means by “establish[ing] the legal framework necessary to prosecute cybercriminals.” There’s already an international legal framework for cybercrime—the Budapest Convention—which has forty-seven state parties. And while it doesn’t have universal support, those states that are opposed to it—China, Russia, Iran—are unlikely to support any additional framework proposed by the United States. In fact, the United States has traditionally been opposed to the establishment of new legal instruments to regulate activity in cyberspace.

Bush’s opposition to the IANA transition is largely consistent with Republican orthodoxy. However, just about everyone involved in Internet governance policy agrees that the IANA transition is a good move, and it’s been in the works since ICANN was created. Going back on this commitment would not only look bad, but would also needlessly irritate other countries, including U.S. allies, who argue that one government should not maintain control over infrastructure critical to the operation of the global economy. While these concerns are not new, they’ve grown sharper in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Spinning off the IANA functions is a step towards removing a needless irritant that has traditionally fueled the drive for greater UN control over critical Internet infrastructure.

The most effective portion of Bush’s cybersecurity platform is his proposal for immigration reform. Allowing more skilled workers into the United States and making it easier for foreign nationals trained at U.S. universities to stay here after graduation could mitigate the severe demand for cybersecurity professionals the United States is currently facing.

This post appears courtesy of CFR.org.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.