Analysis: NSA's new cybersecurity program

Thursday - 7/8/2010, 6:40pm EDT

Shane Harris, senior writer, Washingtonian Magazine

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Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-5 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • In the effort to protect the cyber-infrastructure from attack, the NSA has a new program, "Perfect Citizen." There are some real concerns coming from several directions over this new National Security Administration cybershield. The idea is to give NSA ways to detect cyber assaults on the private companies and the agencies that run critical infrastructure like the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants. Shane Harris is a senior writer at Washingtonian Magazine and author of "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State." He says it's really an expansion of what NSA was already doing. Check out more discussion about the cyberwar threat here.

  • Health and Human Services has launched a new health privacy website, and with that, a proposal to strengthen HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The idea is to make the handling of all the electronic personal health information that's out there more secure. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement today. She encourages all Americans to start learning more about the new set of rules, so that they better understand their rights, but also so they better understand what resources are available that'll help them protect their personal health information. This move would strengthen the enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act by expanding people's rights to access their information, while limiting the disclosure of certain kinds of protected health information to health plans in particular. It also sets new limits on the ways marketers and fundraisers can use and disclose protected health information, while also prohibiting the sale of information without someone's express consent.

Check out all of Federal News Radio's coverage of cybersecurity issues here.