White House Announces Industry-Wide Botnet Counterattack

Praises voluntary standards already adopted by cable operators, other ISPs

The White House announced a new, multistakeholder, industry-wide,
coordinated, interagency, nationally focused and global plan to combat botnets,
which have financial, personal privacy, and security impact, the White House
said on Wednesday.

White House Cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt, in
announcing the initiative, said that "the pervasive presence of malware is
not the price of doing business."

He said the botnet threat is larger than any company or
country. The White House is teaming with trade associations, privacy rights
groups, ISPs and others. The plan is to come up with voluntary industry best
practices, something the cable industry already has a head start on.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was among those who joined
Schmidt at the Old Executive Office Building for the announcement. The
initiative is being launched in coordination with an FCC/industry partnership
on voluntary guidelines already announced by the FCC last March.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and other major ISPs have
already agreed to participate.

Comcast, CenturyLink and Google got shout-outs Wednesday for
having already taken steps to identify attacks without compromising privacy.

The administration pledged to continue to work with the
industry to "keep a Clean Machine," the catchphrase for what was
described as a robust public/private partnership.

Genachowski, who spoke at the event, thanked Glen Post, CEO
of CenturyLink, and Comcast for chairing the government/industry Communications
Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council, whose BotNet working group
helped come up with the voluntary guidelines.

He said the keys to tackling cybersecurity attacks require
private industry to respond in a way they did not have to before. He also said
they require a new level of collaboration on the government side, and that
solutions must preserve internet freedom and open architecture.

"Privacy and security are complementary," he said,
with both essential to the success of the Internet.

He pointed out the March announcement and said that ISPs
representing over 90% of subs had agreed to adhere to the voluntary codes of
conduct. He said the model for identifying problems and assembling experts
inside and outside government is one that works.

Schmidt said that Genachowski, in concert with the Commerce
Department, had done a "great job" of bringing the pieces together
for the initiative.

Post, who also spoke, said that CenturyLink, the third
largest telecom company, said ISPs have a strong interest in fighting all types
of cyberthreats. He said that to be successful, ISPs also had to preserve the
trust and confidence of their subs.