Cameron seeks Obama support on sharing of internet intelligence

Prime Minister David Cameron is to lobby US President Barack Obama to pressure internet firms to do more to cooperate with Britain’s intelligence agencies.

According to the Guardian, Cameron will seek to win Obama’s support for his plans to secure a new legal framework to deny terrorists a “safe space” and demand that US internet companies store – and then be prepared to hand over – data and content needed by the intelligence agencies “to keep us safe” when he meets the President on Friday morning.

A Government source said: “The prime minister’s objective here is to get the US companies to cooperate with us more, to make sure that our intelligence agencies get the information they need to keep us safe.

"That will be his approach in the discussion with President Obama – how can we work together to get them to cooperate more, what is the best approach to encourage them to do more.”

Mark Rasch, author and principal of Rasch Technology, said that any legislative proposal always includes something to do with public-private partnership and information sharing, because it is something that theoretically can be done and something that theoretically can help.

“That assumes that a significant part of the day-to-day problem is that the average CISO lacks sufficient information to do their job,” he said in a blog. “What is really needed is what the spooks and wonks call ‘actionable intelligence’. Don’t tell me what’s going on – tell me what do to, when, and why. Let me assess business impact.”

Errata Security’s Robert Graham said in his blog that “internet innovation happens by trying things first then asking for permission later”.

He said: “Along with its Hacking Prohibition law, Obama is also proposing a massive Internet Surveillance law. Companies currently monitor their networks, using cyber security products like firewalls, IPSs, and anti-virus.

"Obama wants to strong-arm companies into sharing that information with the government, creating a virtualised or ‘cloud’ surveillance system.”

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