McCain promotes online security, privacy policies

John McCain issued a statement on Thursday with his thoughts on online security and privacy issues.

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain, sometimes criticized for admitting to not using the Internet much, flexed his technology credentials while outlining his opinions about online security and privacy on Thursday.

While such issues are unlikely to be the ones to sway voters to one candidate or another, they could have an affect on national security and on day-to-day life for many Americans. "Whether it sways votes or not, privacy and security are two critical issues we face," said Chris Ridder, a residential fellow at Stanford Law school's center for Internet and society.

McCain said that an effective combination of consumer education, technological innovation and increased law enforcement, plus industry self-regulation will support "personal security for Americans in the digital age." Unless people feel confident that they can use technology safely, the potential economic and societal benefits of technology are at risk, he said in a statement.

The candidates shouldn't just be talking about these issues as a way to appeal to people concerned about them; the government does have an important role to play in online security, Ridder said. "The government sees cybersecurity as a national security issue and an infrastructure issue and I think it's tremendously important not only from a military perspective but also from keeping people safe from crime," he said.

The recent conflict in Georgia, which has included cyberattacks, highlights the importance of online security. "I think we're seeing pretty much any military engagement will have some sort of cyber-components," Ridder said. "Any president who wants to emphasize military credentials ought to be concerned with protecting this critical infrastructure."

While McCain emphasized the role of industry self-regulation to promote security and privacy for online users, that's a method to be used carefully, Ridder said. "There needs to be a critical look at the evidence and see where [self-regulation] is working and where it's not and where it's not there is room for appropriate privacy regulations," he said.

Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee who is often thought to be more tech-savvy than his rival, has also posted on his Web site a more detailed outline then McCain's of his plans for Internet security and privacy. He emphasized the need to build protections against the misuse of sensitive information such as health records and location data. He also said he wants to update surveillance laws so that law enforcement agents can only gather data about citizens according to the law.

Obama also pledged to secure databases of information about people so that terrorists can't steal the data and misuse it. Currently, the government is one of the largest sources of data breaches, Ridder said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?