Originally published: March 17, 2012
Last updated: April 4, 2012 - 3:33pm
Lawmakers and Administration officials have warned of potentially catastrophic consequences if Congress doesn't pass cybersecurity legislation this year, but some observers question whether the rhetoric is overblown.
Jerry Brito, director of the Technology Policy Program at George Mason University, said the "rhetoric does not match the reality" on cybersecurity. "When members of Congress talk about [cybersecurity] they conflate the different threats," Brito said. He explained that cyber espionage is a "very real" problem that is "happening right now." Companies and foreign governments are hacking into the computer systems of American companies to steal their trade secrets and gain a competitive advantage. But Brito said the likelihood of a cyberattack having a major "kinetic effect"—meaning significant physical destruction—is low.
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