US government fails to publish social networking guidelines as former US-CERT director claims that websites have a responsibility to privacy and security

News by Dan Raywood

The US government has failed to publish guidelines for social media use while embracing Web 2.0 technology.

The US government has failed to publish guidelines for social media use while embracing Web 2.0 technology.

Speaking on an RSA podcast, Mischel Kwon, vice president of public sector security solutions for RSA and a former director for the US Department of Homeland Security's US computer emergency readiness team (US-CERT), claimed that while the US government is using social media and created pages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, there has not been any guidelines established in regard to security.

Kwon claimed that this was ‘unfortunate', and said: “But it does seem [to be] the way [that] we like to use technology – we like to go out first and then bolt on security afterwards, so we are following the trend.

“But I think the departments and agencies are looking really hard at ways to use this and to use it more securely and I think that there are ways to do that, I just hope we don't get too far ahead of ourselves in using it before we secure ourselves first.”

With regard to privacy and dealing with information control and access, Kwon claimed that this is a ‘shared responsibility' of both the department and agency that has the page and of the social media site that you are using.

Kwon said: “Fortunately most of these sites have strong privacy policies, and what is important is that we interpret those policies and agree with them, and if we don't agree with them find a way to come to a happy medium.”

Kwon advised using security and privacy settings in the most stringent way, and to consider creating a separate email address only for social networking, and where possible use one computer for social networking and another for purchasing.

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