Feds urge secrecy over network outages

    Date24 Jun 2004
    CategoryGovernment
    3576
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    "Giving the public too many details about significant network service outages could present cyberterrorists with a "virtual road map" to targeting critical infrastructures, according to the US Department of Homeland Security, which this month urged regulators to keep such information secret."

    Ah, this must be more of the "increased security through decreased transparancy" theory. It meshes well with the "Terrorists are smart enough to look into telecom outage reports and expert enough to know how to use them, but somehow cannot otherwise determine what parts of our information infastructure might be vulnerable" theory. Two words, DoHS: "Root Servers". And I didn't even read one of those outage reports! . . . Giving the public too many details about significant network service outages could present cyberterrorists with a "virtual road map" to targeting critical infrastructures, according to the US Department of Homeland Security, which this month urged regulators to keep such information secret.

    At issue is an FCC proposal that would require telecom companies to report significant outages of high-speed data lines or wireless networks to the commission. The plan would rewrite regulations that currently require phone companies to file a publicly-accessible service disruption report whenever they experience an outage that effects at least 30,000 telephone customers for 30 minutes or more. Enacted in the wake of the June 1991 AT&T long-distance crash, the FCC credits the rule with having reversed a trend of increased outages on the phone network, as telecom companies used the disclosures to develop best practices and learn from each others' mistakes.

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