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by CSO Contributor

Bush’s Doctrine for War; Software Bug Bites U.S. Military; Surveillance Nation; Privacy Advocates Increase Efforts to Restrict Banks’ Data Sharing

Mar 18, 20034 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Bushs Doctrine for War

In his address to the nation last night, President George W. Bush turned America’s first new national security strategy in 50 yearsthe doctrine of pre-emptive military action against foesinto the rationale for America’s latest war, according to The New York Times today. It is a view of America’s role that Bush never discussed when he ran for president, when he spoke of the need for a “humble” approach to the world, notes the Times. Yet he began to embrace it within months of entering the Oval Office, and it became a fierce passion after Sept. 11, 2001. To the U.N. and to U.S. allies, Bushs doctrine will show that this whole U.N. detour was an exercise in futilitythat this is what the president planned to do all along,” said Stanley Hoffmann, the Harvard professor who has spent a lifetime studying war and the trans-Atlantic alliance, today. “There is no room in the U.N. charter for the president’s doctrine of pre-emption, for anticipatory self-defense.” What has surprised the world is the audacity with which Bush has pursued that vision, the Times writes, to the point today of drawing up detailed plans for making Iraq an American protectorate, for as long as it takes to transform it into a peaceful nation. But one of Bushs national security advisers conceded recently acceded, If it’s not post-war Japanif it’s more like post-war Yugoslaviawe will have a huge and expensive problem on our hands.”Software Bug Bites U.S. MilitaryBBC News today reports that computer vandals have been exploiting a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows 2000 operating system even before the software giant warned people of its existence. The flaw stems from Microsoft’s implementation of a program called WebDAV that lets different people remotely manage what is on a net server. Microsoft has now issued an advisory about the flaw, calling it “critical” and said an attacker that successfully exploited it could gain “complete control” over a machine. The software company has also provided a patch. Usually theres some time between the discovery of a software flaw and its active exploitation but in this case at least one Net server has been attacked via the WebDAV loophole before security advisories have been issued. The server, belonging to the U.S. Army, was successfully attacked in early March. No serious damage was done because it was not connected to any important systems.


Surveillance NationTechnology Review discusses market trends, social trends and technological developments, and predicts that in the near future ubiquitous digital surveillance will marry widespread computational power, with startling results. According to a January report by security market-research company J.P. Freeman, 26 million surveillance cameras have already been installed worldwide, and more than 11 million of them are in the United States. Tech Review reports that, according to Freeman, the $150 million-a-year remote digital-surveillance-camera market will grow at an annual clip of 40 to 50 percent for the next 10 years. But astonishingly, other, nonvideo forms of monitoring will increase even faster: GPS in cell phones, grocery store cards, RFID tags in auto tires, employee Web monitoring, and on and on. There will be a strange mix of public and private surveillance data that will ultimately be combined, stepping into some uncharted legal territory. The collective by-product of thousands of unexceptionable, even praiseworthy efforts to gather data could be something nobody wants: the demise of privacy. These networks are growing much faster than people realize, Ben Shneiderman, a computer scientist at the University of Maryland, told Tech Review. We need to pay attention to what were doing right now.

Around the planet citizens are crossingwillingly, more often than notinto a world of networked, highly computerized surveillance. A long article in the April

Privacy Advocates Increase Efforts to Restrict Banks’ Data SharingThe New York Times yesterday, a bill before the State Assembly would require financial institutions to get customers’ permission before providing data to other companies and would halt distribution of that data to their affiliates if customers asked them to do so. The developments in California are a preview of a major struggle this year in Congress, where financial institutions contend that states should not have the flexibility, provided in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, to impose privacy requirements that are more stringent than required by federal law.

Privacy advocates are stepping up an effort to require California’s banks and other financial institutions to give consumers more control of their financial data. According to