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The already failed CISPA is back in Washington for a second attempt. This "new and improved" bill having passed the house,Stalled in the senate and under Veto threat from the Whitehouse. It appears that the  project EINSTEIN long since in existence could be turned to CISPA's Brain....

Einsteina given name and apparently not an acronym was originally a surveillance system for US Federal Government Information Technology.


When it was created, Einstein was "an automated process for collecting, correlating, analyzing, and sharing computer security information across the Federal civilian government."[1] Einstein does not protect the network infrastructure of the private sector.[15] As described in 2004, its purpose is to "facilitate identifying and responding to cyber threats and attacks, improve network security, increase the resiliency of critical, electronically delivered government services, and enhance the survivability of the Internet."[1]

Einstein 3

Version 3.0 of Einstein has been discussed to prevent attacks by "shoot[ing] down an attack before it hits its target."[24] The NSA is moving forward to begin a program known as “Einstein 3,” which will monitor “government computer traffic on private sector sites.” (AT&T is being considered as the first private sector site.) Some believe the program will invade the privacy of individuals too much.[25]

Network World's writeup on EINSTEIN.
Network World - To protect the federal civilian agencies against cyberthreats, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to deploy a  more powerful version of its EINSTEIN intrusion-detection system that’s supposed to detect attacks and malware, especially associated with e-mail. But since this version of EINSTEIN is acknowledged by DHS to be able to read electronic content, it’s raising privacy concerns.

The DHS recognizes there are privacy implications and just issued a “privacy impact assessment” report about what it calls EINSTEIN 3 Accelerated, the intrusion detection and prevention system expected to be made available as a managed security service from ISPs to monitor the “.gov” traffic to and from civilian agencies and Executive Branch departments, such as Treasury. DHS says EINSTEIN 3 may collect “personally identifiable information” (PII)  in some instances where this network security system will not just monitor but also prevent threats by blocking traffic in order to detect a cyberthreat or potential cyberthreat.  

In its “privacy impact assessment” for EINSTEIN 3 published April 19, DHS states appropriate privacy-protection controls related to PII have been established. DHS says it has procedures in place where analysts will know how to “minimize (i.e., overwrite, redact, or replace) PII data that is not necessary to understand the cyber threat.”

But EINSTEIN 3 is anticipated to include packet-inspection tools that “allow an analyst to look at the content of the threat data, which enables a more comprehensive analysis. Packet capture may contain information that could be considered PII-like malicious data from or associated with email messages or attachments,” the DHS privacy-impact assessment notes.

This sounds like an awful lot a firepower for just Government IT and it seems to create the same privacy concerns that have been raised about the CISPA.....

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