Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cyber Security Bill Would Grant Unprecendented Powers Over the Internet

From eWeek earlier this month:

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 introduced in the Senate would allow the president to shut down private Internet networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access.


According to the bill's language, the president would have broad authority to designate various private networks as a "critical infrastructure system or network" and, with no other review, "may declare a cyber-security emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from" the designated the private-sector system or network.

Typically, the bill fails to state just which networks are "critical" to national security, leaving that decision up to the executive branch.  The same branch that runs the network just reported as having been penetrated by crackers seeking info on the F-35 program.

Not only is Federal competence at issue here, of greater concern is the potential for almost certain misuse in stifling dissent.  Not even 100 days into the Obama administration, DHS released a report warning of nebulous threats from domestic right wing terrorists, including a statement that returning veterans are especially susceptible to recruitment.  While the President is busy kowtowing to foreign potentates and apologizing to the rest of the world, his administration is engaging in propaganda warfare against American citizens.

If this law is enacted, how long until dissent is regarded as sedition, and online communities which disagree with the administration are shut down?

It is facile to say that the Internet recognizes failure and routes around it.  It generally take awhile for a site to develop a following.  If the Feds shut it down it is disruptive to ongoing conversations.

You've probably read of the current domestic ammunition shortage and surge in gun buying, driven by fear of the administration's gun control agenda.  And of course, you're aware of the Tea Party phenomena of productive Americans fed up with Washington going off the reservation with spending.  If this cyber security bill gains any traction, we're going to see an upsurge in alternative means of communication driven by fear that the Obama administration will curtail freedom on the Internet.

The statists in Washington seem hell bent on driving this country apart.  Keep pushing, you won't like what you get.

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