ALEC Makes Cybersecurity a Year-Long Priority
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a month-long initiative dedicated to encouraging all Internet users to be cognizant of their online surroundings. In a 21st century environment, it is important that all Internet stakeholders—from teens on mobile devices to employees at the Department of Homeland Security—are involved in the fight against cyberthreats.
The goal of the October 2013 reminder is to teach Americans about the evolving nature of cybersecurity, how to prevent cybercrime and, should these preventative measures fail, how to mitigate the damage. The educational program stresses that regardless of how or why individuals, government entities, or businesses access the Internet, the responsibility to maintain online security is shared by all.
A culture of awareness and communication will certainly yield a safer online environment. To this end, ALEC is currently considering a statement of cybersecurity principles that recognizes the borderless nature of the Internet and the resulting cyberthreats. Among other things, the principles emphasize a need for general awareness regarding online threats and support of innovation as a means to cultivate online security.
Cybersecurity is a multifaceted problem, with issues ranging from protecting trade secrets to securing critical infrastructure and bolstering the national defense system. Yet, the American Legislative Exchange Council also understands that for millions of parents in America, the most important element of cybersecurity is keeping their children safe online. In order to address this issue, the American Legislative Exchange Council has a pointed piece of model policy titled the The Pursue and Control Online Child Predators Act.
The model policy was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council and The Council of State Governments in 2008 and lauded as a step closer to keeping America’s children safe by child protection groups like Stop Child Predators.
The policy contains proactive measures to prevent child-related crime and formally criminalizes certain actions. The policy ensures that Internet subscribers are able to restrict or monitor their child’s use of the Internet, requires teaching online safety in the classroom, and increases controls for post-conviction sex offenders. Finally, the policy expands child porn reporting obligations and criminalizes (1) Internet sexual exploitation, (2) the luring of a child, or (3) age misrepresentation with intent to solicit a child.
A secure cyberspace is critical to keeping America’s children safe, the economy running, and defense systems protected. That’s why the American Legislative Exchange Council supports cybersecurity initiatives this month—and every month.