Legislation Proliferation in Our Nation

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In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of legislative activity in Washington around fundamental issues like national security, privacy and information transfer. New bills like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) contain a multitude of laws that affect the IT industry—and storage and security in particular—directly and indirectly.


I have to wonder, though: Are they a positive development for IT? Obviously, some advocates of these bills have argued that they help create jobs. Whether or not that’s true, the main purpose of these laws is not job growth. When you get right down to it, the gist of much of this legislation is ensuring organizations’ data are accurate and secure. An argument in favor of the bills is that they hold companies and government agencies accountable, and therefore, these institutions will hire professionals who are qualified, knowledgeable and ethical. And having the right people in place is as good a means as any as to optimally protect and manage information and systems.


However, others posit that these regulations could potentially stifle innovation and creative thinking in devising solutions to complex and quickly changing problems. They say these laws will not secure organizational data or networks in any meaningful way, and may actually tie IT professionals down in red tape. Additionally, they say the bills will add more useless bureaucracy than consequential occupations.


I’d like to get our readers’ pro-or-con opinions on this subject, so I’ve posted a new “Legislation and IT” thread on our Storage community discussion board. This is hardly intended just for storage professionals, though. I encourage IT security practitioners and any other professionals to weigh in on this topic as well. Go to www.certmag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33 to offer your two cents.

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