US defends Web security plan

Monday, 23 December 2002, 2:16 PM EST

Efforts to bolster Internet security will not lead to increased government scrutiny of individuals' online habits, the White House and industry sources said late last week.

As it finalises sweeping guidelines that aim to increase cybersecurity, the Bush administration said individual privacy would not be affected by efforts to prevent cyberattacks.

"The administration is not considering a proposal to monitor what individuals do on the Internet," a spokesman for the transition to the newly created Department of Homeland Security said.

High-tech companies, meanwhile, said they would resist government efforts to get involved in the day-to-day operation of the global computer network.

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