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Congress' role in IT security debated

One House member wants every U.S. computer to have antivirus software installed. A U.S. House of Representatives member proposed today that Congress require every computer to have antivirus software installed. But IT security experts disagreed with that suggestion and proposed other ways for the government to encourage cybersecurity among private companies and individual users. Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) during a hearing questioned whether Congress should require that antivirus software be installed on every U.S. computer to counter the billions of dollars in damage done by viruses and worms in 2003 alone. “Is it time for the federal government to develop some kind of Internet security agency that would develop standards for all legitimate software, require automatic update and patching and establish a base level for every single computer in the country?” Bass said during a hearing on computer viruses by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. “Is there any reason why any computer in this country shouldn’t have some kind of antivirus software on it as a requirement?” Full Story

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