03:19 PM
Connect Directly

National Intelligence Director Wants To Monitor All Net Communications

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has developed a policy to monitor the Internet, but President Bush has not announced it yet.

The federal government should be able to read all communications on the Internet, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said during a New Yorker interview.

Lawrence Wright, who interviewed McConnell for a piece in this week's issue, said that McConnell has developed a cyber security policy that would include such a provision, but President George W. Bush has not announced it yet.

The New Yorker's Web site features a podcast in which Wright is interviewed and summarizes McConnell's views on the issue, as well as other intelligence matters.

"He's come up with a cyber security policy that the President has not announced yet but it would in many ways revolutionize the relationship between government and industry and also with American citizens," Wright said. "Every bit of information throughout the Internet could be monitored by the government. This is going to be a very thorny development."

Wright said that such a policy would require Americans to give up the presumption of privacy, but it may be the only way to protect transportation, security, and other critical systems that rely on the Internet.

"One of McConnell's passions is the security of information systems," he said. "We live in a world of an open Internet, and we all depend on that, but the openness of it is also what makes it so fragile and vulnerable to attack, to manipulation and destruction by a sinister force."

Wright also talked about a growing security threat in light of recent news reports indicating that hackers from the Chinese Army infiltrated German government systems, as well as gaining access to information from the Pentagon.

He also indicated that McConnell is trying to develop a Wikipedia-style platform to help intelligence agencies share information.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.