How to erect an economic powerhouse using cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a burgeoning economic force and there’s more demand for jobs than supply. According to a new report out today, the regions that have capitalized on those dynamics share some common qualities.

“National and local governments are actively seeking to leverage this dramatic projected growth by developing and attracting cybersecurity talent and industry,” according to the report from the New America think tank. “So far, cybersecurity ecosystems have popped up in various places around the globe, usually in regionally-defined ‘clusters’ that provide the necessary factors to support development.”

For its study, the think tank looked at San Antonio, Beersheba, Israel, and Malvern, United Kingdom. Its conclusions? Being nearby a government cybersecurity hub helps, as contracting opportunities proliferate and workers move back and forth between private sector and public sector gigs. Research centers and incubators foster a workforce and innovate new products. A high quality of life lures talent from other parts of the world. And another big help is local industry leadership, be it from chambers of commerce or large companies.

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GRASSLEY SAYS BALL IS ROLLING ON SURVEILLANCE — The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun work on its bill to reauthorize the warrantless spying programs contained in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to panel Chairman Chuck Grassley. “We’re just starting our discussions,” the Iowa Republican said Wednesday. “I can only give you my opinion that some form of 702 has to be passed before the end of the year.” The snooping efforts will expire at the end of 2017 without congressional action. In the upper chamber, Sen. Tom Cotton is backing a bill (S. 1297) that would reauthorize the programs indefinitely and without changes — a proposal supported by every GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

However, that stance is a nonstarter with members of the House Judiciary Committee, who have primary jurisdiction in the matter and want to inject additional privacy provision into the law. Committee lawmakers could roll out their bipartisan reauthorization measure as soon as next week. In June, Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein issued a statement opposing indefinitely extending the electronic spying programs and suggesting a number of tweaks, including a possible requirement that the FISA Court appoint an outside counsel each time the government seeks approval to continue a Section 702 collection effort.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE AS NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT A pair of security experts argue in a new POLITICO Magazine feature that switching to a popular vote tally and ditching the electoral college would better protect elections from hackers. “It would be more difficult for a foreign entity to sway many millions of voters scattered across the country than concentrated groups of tens of thousands of voters in just a few states,” write Matthew Olsen, a former National Counterterrorism Center director and co-founder of IronNet Cybersecurity and Benjamin Haas, a Stanford Law School student. “And it would be more difficult to tamper with voting systems on a nationwide basis than to hack into a handful of databases in crucial swing districts, which could alter an election’s outcome.”


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