Most want government to make Internet safe

    Date16 Jun 2005
    CategoryGovernment
    8829
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Most Americans believe the government should do more to make the Internet safe, but they don't trust the federal institutions that are largely responsible for creating and enforcing laws online, a new industry survey says.

    People who were questioned expressed concerns over threats from identity theft, computer viruses and unwanted 'spam' e-mails. But they held low opinions toward Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, which protects consumers against Internet fraud.

    'A lot of times, people get us confused with other agencies,' said Lee Peeler, deputy director for the consumer protection bureau at the FTC, which has sued people accused of sending spam and spyware.

    The FBI scored more favorably among Internet users in the survey but still lower than technology companies, such as Microsoft Corp. and Dell Inc.

    The phone survey of 1,003 likely voters was funded by the Washington-based Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a trade group that has lobbied the Bush administration to pay more attention to Internet security.

    'There are some mixed signals here,' said Paul Kurtz, the group's executive director and a former White House cybersecurity official. 'There is definitely a desire to see government provide more leadership, but there is some anxiety about what ultimately might come out.'

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