The news has been inundated lately with discussions around cybersecurity. With the Apple vs. FBI case, Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan and constant cyber threats from foreign countries, you’d expect cybersecurity to be a hot topic among the Presidential candidates. However, so far this has not been the case.
Cybersecurity is a complex topic. Some candidates may not feel equipped to discuss the topic, while others may not have a definitive stance on the issue. Regardless of the reason, cybersecurity is a national security issue and the next president will be tasked with addressing it. According to CBS News, fifty-five percent of Information Security professionals believe cybersecurity should be an essential issue in the 2016 election. We decided to do some research and see where the Presidential candidates stand on cybersecurity issues and policies.
Let’s Take a Closer Look…
When asked about cybersecurity, Clinton has stated, “It is one of the most important challenges the next president is going to face.” She predicts countries like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are going to accelerate their attacks on the cyber infrastructure in the United States. Clinton believes the US should work to prevent attacks from happening and from giving cybercriminals the information they’re after.
Although Clinton has made headlines for using an unsecure email server for her official email communication, her website, www.hillaryclinton.com, recognizes that cyber attacks have profound consequences on our economy and national security. Clinton plans to leverage the work of the public and private sectors to strengthen security and build resiliency for both the economy and infrastructure of the United States.
Sanders has taken a clear position on cybersecurity by stating, “cyber attacks may be the greatest threat to U.S. national security, as America’s critical infrastructure is vulnerable to attack”. Sanders’ website, www.feelthebern.org, claims there is a need for cybersecurity, yet it should be balanced with protecting the rights and data of American citizens. The cybersecurity section on his website states he supported the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and is in favor of passing legislation to improve the overall cybersecurity of the nation, while protecting privacy.
Trump has been relatively quiet on the topic of cybersecurity and does not articulate a clear stance on his website, www.donaldjtrump.com. However, in a speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina in December 2015, Trump announced that he has considered a shutdown in certain areas of the Internet to stop the spread of terror. Some countries have been known to shut off Internet service to their citizens in times of crisis. For example, Egypt restricted the Internet during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. China blocks certain websites, such as social networking sites. Trump has stated, “I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure don’t want to let people that want to kill us and our nation use our Internet.”
Cruz’s official website, www.tedcruz.org, does not mention cybersecurity. As far as Internet restrictions, he has criticized net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers should allow access to all content regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Cruz has stated net neutrality as “the biggest regulatory threat to the Internet.”
With the use of the Internet growing, cyber attacks are naturally growing as well. The next president will no doubt be forced to address sensitive issues, such as Internet rights as well as determining which takes priority, personal privacy or national security.
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