ICANN CEO calls for public health response model to e-security

By May 19, 2009 ENUM No Comments

Paul Twomey imageThe greatest threats to the internet are not cyber threats, but the threat of inappropriate public policy, Paul Twomey, the CEO and President of ICANN, told told the annual AusCERT in Australia last week.

“National security is driven by nation states,” Twomey said. “National security or economic policy is going to be the key discussion of our age. … We can’t risk the Internet by placing onto it more government control.” Twomey also went on to say the proper response to cyber threats is not a national security approach but a public health approach.

“There’s certainly an element of draining the swamp, rather than worrying about the fever,” Twomey told the gathering on the Gold Coast.

“There’s always going to be cyber warfare and cyber espionage, so we need to maintain a view more similar to public health, where people have certain responsibilities to look after their own health. At the same time, we need to look at who will be the doctors, who’s providing the hospitals, and where is the centre of disease control.”

“Governments have been waging war and espionage for the last 5000 years. There’s no reason to think that they won’t continue in the Internet age,” he said. Twomey also asked how do you respond to pandemics if you take the public health approach, saying “The question is, how do you respond to that?”