Will cybersecurity improvement plans actually get anywhere?

The House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations is examining issues related to cybersecurity in a hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Republicans hold a majority in the House. They have indicated that while they may not be as eager to sign off on President Obama's cybersecurity plans as their colleagues in the Democrat-led Senate, they would like to get something done to protect our Internet infrastructure against escalating attacks.

The thing is, even if all the politicians agreed on everything across the board, any move they make is limited in scope because so much of American Internet infrastructure is privately owned. Tony Romm, who covers technology for Politico.com, joins us to talk about what Congress and the president might be able to do. He thinks we might see a scenario where private companies would need to be a lot more transparent about security issues and may be required to be certified and monitored by third party groups. Also, private companies that deal in things like energy plants or water might see tighter government oversight.

On the international front, a recently issued Obama administration report titled "International Strategy for Cyberspace" put forth a vision where allied countries collaborate on security and help each other in the event of an attack. We talk to Adam Segal from the Council on Foreign Relations. He says the idea would be to view the repercussions of a given attack in terms of whether they caused loss of life, what scale of economic and societal impact they had, and decide from there what kind of international response was warranted. Segal says the urgency of this issue is starting to build in the international community.

Also in this program, Toyota has a new social network where you can friend your car. Because either you want updates on your maintenance schedule or you're just very lonely.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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