Former spy chief complains about 'hideous over-classification'

America needs a more aggressive approach to cybersecurity, a former spy chief opined on Tuesday, includes sharing more of the information that he calls "hideously overclassified."

"American industry hides the ball from one another and from the public for fiduciary reasons, and the American government hides the same ball because of the hideous overclassification of cyber-related information," retired Gen. Michael Hayden said in remarks at the American Enterprise Institute. Hayden served as head of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

He added, "Let's begin to share more data, the data leads to a common picture, which leads to an adult conversation. I have confidence we're bright people, if we're all looking at the same data, we'll find a range of options we find acceptable."

Hayden said the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed by the Senate on Tuesday was a step in the right direction, but that it wasn't sufficient to cover all of America's cybersecurity challenges. He suggested that there was a "tolerance for failure," particularly in relation to the Office of Personnel Management breach. "Maybe the president is really angry about this, but it didn't come out," Hayden said. "There probably should be more bureaucratic penalties for such horrific failures."

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