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New law creates Michigan cyber-security corps

The Kent County Prosecutor has warned Zach Sweers to stop his video vigiliantism for fear of the dangers involved
Wikimedia user Colin

A law that takes effect today creates the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps. The team will be called up if the governor declares an emergency if there is a cyber-attack or some other internet threat looms. The group will be made up entirely of volunteers who are experts in cyber-security. They will have to pass criminal background checks.             

“Essentially, they’re a group of good Samaritans who are especially an asset to the business community," says Tanya Baker with Snyder's office. "When you think of businesses that don’t have that capability or that investment in cyber-security, this group of people can come and help them.”    

Baker says the new law also protects members of the cyber civilian corps from lawsuits.

“What that grants these members is the same immunity that’s given to state employees while they assist during a governor-declared state of emergency,” she said.

The group will assist the state, local governments, businesses and individuals dealing with a cyber-emergency. Baker says there are about 20 people already qualified for the team, but the plan is to grow it more than 200 cyber-security experts.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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