[ISN] Poll: Most Want U.S. to Make Internet Safe

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Jun 15 02:03:18 EDT 2005


The Associated Press
June 15, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Most Americans believe the government should do more to 
make the Internet safe, but they don't trust the federal institutions 
that are largely responsible for creating and enforcing laws online, 
according to a new industry survey.

People who were questioned expressed concerns over threats from 
identity theft, computer viruses and unwanted "spam" e-mails. But they 
held low opinions toward Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, 
which protects consumers against Internet fraud.

"A lot of times, people get us confused with other agencies," said Lee 
Peeler, deputy director for the consumer protection bureau at the FTC, 
which has sued people accused of sending spam and spyware.

The FBI scored more favorably among Internet users in the survey but 
still lower than technology companies, such as Microsoft Corp. and 
Dell Inc.

The telephone survey of 1,003 likely voters was funded by the 
Washington-based Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a trade group that 
has lobbied the Bush administration to pay greater attention to 
Internet security. The alliance also has cautioned lawmakers against 
what it considers unnecessary security laws.

"There are some mixed signals here," said Paul Kurtz, the group's 
executive director and a former White House cybersecurity official. 
"There is definitely a desire to see government provide more 
leadership, but there is some anxiety about what ultimately might come 

The survey, to be released Wednesday, said 71 percent of people 
believe Congress needs to pass new laws to keep the Internet safe. But 
Kurtz said Congress and the Bush administration should do a better job 
enforcing existing Internet laws against hackers, thieves and vandals 
and offer incentives for companies to improve security.

"I don't think the public knows what it wants Congress to do, but it 
wants Congress to do something," said Dan Burton, the senior lobbyist 
for Entrust Inc., an online security company and member of the trade 
group. "They don't have a lot of confidence that Congress will do the 
right thing."

The survey was conducted May 2-9 by Pineda Consulting, with a margin 
of error of 3 percentage points. It was limited to people who 
indicated they were almost certain or probably would vote in the next 
federal election.


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