Perfect Citizen Pros and Cons

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 @ 08:07 PM gHale

Is Perfect Citizen a research-and-engineering effort or is it Big Brother beginning its take over? It really depends on who you ask.
The National Security Agency (NSA) said the Perfect Citizen project is purely a research-and-engineering effort, not an attempt to monitor companies against cyberattack.
The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, published a report saying Perfect Citizen is a government system designed to monitor vital agencies and private utilities against potential cyberthreats. The project would establish a series of sensors installed throughout various computer networks that would raise an alarm in case of a pending cyberattack, according to The Journal.
In an email, NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel said the agency denied Perfect Citizen would involve any type of monitoring activity or sensors, and labeled it as “purely a vulnerabilities assessment and capabilities development contract. It does not involve the monitoring of communications or the placement of sensors on utility company systems.”
All that being said, NSA said it would not comment further on other aspects of the “highly sensitive” project.
Specifically referring to it as a contract, the NSA said Perfect Citizen “provides a set of technical solutions that help the agency better understand the threats to national-security networks, which is a critical part of NSA’s mission of defending the nation.”
The Journal report said the project has triggered mixed reactions, with some eying it as an effort by the NSA to intrude into domestic affairs and others seeing it as an important step in combating cyberattacks.
Addressing those allegations in the statement, Emmel said “any suggestions that there are illegal or invasive domestic activities associated with this contracted effort are simply not true. We strictly adhere to both the spirit and the letter of U.S. laws and regulations.”

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