Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.
The ongoing struggle to determine the future of the internet in the United States has taken some pretty crazy turns in recent weeks. As CertMag (along with many others) reported last week, one of the five FCC commissioners recently wrote an open letter (printed in The Los Angeles Times) urging the public stop her agency from "killing net neutrality."
"The internet" is large and complex and shared by every state in the union. On the one hand, it seems like there's a clear and present need for the government to ensure its stability and proper function. Yet there are at least some individuals out there — not all of whom are telecom titans lobbying the FCC — uncertain to what extent Uncle Sam is needed to steer the ship.
How do we know that? Funny you should ask. When we conducted our recent survey of certified information security professionals at the end of summer, we asked a series of questions about technology, cybersecurity, and government oversight. We've covered some of the results already:
The Role of Government in Cybersecurity, Part 1
The Role of Government in Cybersecurity, Part 2
Which brings us to today's installment. The government has a role, for better or worse, in actively shepherding the internet. But how active should it be? Maybe it's already doing too much? Here's what we learned by asking survey respondents to rate their level of agreement with the following proposition:
Statement: Government should do more to protect and regulate public information and technology resources such as the internet.
Strongly Agree: 18.2 percent
Agree: 24.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 28.6 percent
Disagree: 20.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8.4 percent
There's a fair amount of gray area in that question, and a perhaps corresponding level of gray area in the response. Is that a lot of cautious "wait-and-see-ers" urging that no action be taken in either direction, or just a lot people not willing to commit either to too much or too little regulation and protection?
The greatest number of respondents feel that something should be done to increase regulation and protection of public information and technology resources. But even that group is divided against itself in a relatively even split: some strongly agree that increased regulation and protection are needed, while others are behind that idea, but not chomping at the bit.