Security Wisdom Watch: National security edition

Risks to national security have dominated the headlines this past month. Let's review the more insidious examples.

Thumbs down: David Petraeus -- The ex-CIA director may have compromised national security during the course of his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. Maybe she never had access to his CIA email account, but the fact that she was able to use the retired general's personal email account to harass another woman raises many questions about how much access she really had to sensitive intelligence.

Thumbs both ways: President Barack Obama -- The President won a second term last month and now has a chance to make big progress on cybersecurity. Here's hoping his actions are more reliable than his words, since he barely mentioned cybersecurity during the campaign.

Thumbs down: Civil liberties -- When government spies on its citizens in the name of national security, we have bigger problems than the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Exhibit A: Google says government surveillance based on requests for user data is rising steadily worldwide, with the U.S. leading the pack in a murky legal environment. Being safe isn't worth it when you constantly have Big Brother watching you.

Thumbs both ways: Cybersecurity legislation -- Some government officials insist a national cybersecurity law is needed to bridge the gap in security between the public and private sectors. The current bill before Congress appears doomed, but that's not a bad thing. The information-sharing component would have allowed for unprecedented invasions of privacy in the name of national security, and that's something we can do without.

Thumbs down: NASA -- We're getting tired of having to put the embattled space agency in here for data security breaches. Unfortunately, the agency can't seem to stop incidents from happening. Most recently, personally identifiable information of "at least" 10,000 NASA employees and contractors was put at risk following last month's theft of an agency laptop.

To comment on this article and other CSO content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Insider: Hacking the elections: myths and realities
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.