Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Senate moves toward new data security rules

Filed under
Security

In a flurry of activity before Congress prepares to skip town for an August recess, three different congressional committees considered similar legislation at the same time on Thursday morning.

The Senate's Commerce Committee voted unanimously to accept a bill introduced earlier this month by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. It would give the Federal Trade Commission the power to create an information security program that provides "administrative, technical and physical safeguards," and set guidelines for notifying people threatened by a data security breach.

The committee adopted a package of about a dozen amendments, including a compromise suggested by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that would cut, from 90 days to 45 days, the maximum number of days a company has to notify individuals of a breach. But even those guidelines are just broad suggestions, Smith said. "As soon as they know, they need to notify."

Senators also voted to accept an amendment proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.--which would prohibit the sale and display of Social Security numbers except in special circumstances--but indicated it might be tweaked before it is final. Also, the bill will not go to a floor vote until some of its provisions are negotiated with members of the Senate Banking Committee, said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who chairs the Commerce Committee.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee pushed back its plans Thursday to vote on a trio of personal data security bills.

The committee had been scheduled to vote on the lengthiest and most far-reaching proposal, titled the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced the measure in late June, shortly after MasterCard announced that an intruder may have pilfered information from 40 million credit card accounts.

At the same time on Thursday, a U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee convened a hearing about its own draft of data protection legislation.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Why open source programming languages are crushing proprietary peers

It's no secret that open source now dominates big data infrastructure. From Kubernetes to Hadoop to MongoDB, "No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last ten years in closed-source, proprietary form," as Cloudera chief strategy officer Mike Olson reminded us. Read more

CORD becomes a Linux Foundation project

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), an open source integrated solutions platform for service providers leveraging merchant silicon, white boxes, and open source platforms such as Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenStack, Docker, and the cloud operating system XOS, is now part of the Linux Foundation as a new independent project. The Linux foundation is already home to many open source networking projects, including OpenDaylight and ONOS, so CORD is a natural fit for the non-profit foundation. Read more

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more