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 Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

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endless dark

Sagittarius Monkey
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PostSubject: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:52 pm


Quote :
Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

"I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller's aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

A spokesman for Rockefeller also declined to comment on the record Thursday, saying that many people were unavailable because of the summer recess. A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president's power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001. The source said that one primary concern was the electrical grid, and what would happen if it were attacked from a broadband connection.

When Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, they claimed it was vital to protect national cybersecurity. "We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs--from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records," Rockefeller said.

The Rockefeller proposal plays out against a broader concern in Washington, D.C., about the government's role in cybersecurity. In May, President Obama acknowledged that the government is "not as prepared" as it should be to respond to disruptions and announced that a new cybersecurity coordinator position would be created inside the White House staff. Three months later, that post remains empty, one top cybersecurity aide has quit, and some wags have begun to wonder why a government that receives failing marks on cybersecurity should be trusted to instruct the private sector what to do.

Rockefeller's revised legislation seeks to reshuffle the way the federal government addresses the topic. It requires a "cybersecurity workforce plan" from every federal agency, a "dashboard" pilot project, measurements of hiring effectiveness, and the implementation of a "comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy" in six months--even though its mandatory legal review will take a year to complete.

The privacy implications of sweeping changes implemented before the legal review is finished worry Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. "As soon as you're saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it's going to be a really big issue," he says.

Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security." The White House is supposed to engage in "periodic mapping" of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies "shall share" requested information with the federal government. ("Cyber" is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)

"The language has changed but it doesn't contain any real additional limits," EFF's Tien says. "It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)...The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There's no provision for any administrative process or review. That's where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it."

Translation: If your company is deemed "critical," a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.

The Internet Security Alliance's Clinton adds that his group is "supportive of increased federal involvement to enhance cyber security, but we believe that the wrong approach, as embodied in this bill as introduced, will be counterproductive both from an national economic and national secuity perspective."
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PostSubject: Re: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:07 pm

I'm not surprized, still that's crap. """""Emergency""""" Ah, I pretty much figure bill or not that the government has control whenever & whatever they want anyway. They don't have to tell you or ask your permission.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
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helen damnation

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PostSubject: Re: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:41 pm

Small steps into dictatorship Mad

Freedom? What freedom?


Well, the Devil he taught us how to rock and then he turned us loose
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PostSubject: Re: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:55 pm

Yay! Even MORE stuff taken away! First they take "dangerous" books out of the private libraries (including some new age stuff around my public ones) (thank you patriot act) and now they get to hack people's computers! Oh wait "company" computers. Unless they deem someone a threat or a critical, then they get to hack the personal computers.
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PostSubject: Re: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:01 pm

I have read and enjoy my constitution and probably more than just about anyone I like to read my bill of rights.
My 2 favorites are as follows and they are appropriate here and now.


Bill of Rights

Amendment I: Freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.2

Amendment II: Right to bear arms and militia.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Unfortunalty sometimes it seems like we aren't really free at all.
I know this makes me sound like I'm really one of those people who is ready to form a militia,but I'm not.I'm to old and too tired to do something like that.The article if you do read it is pretty inflammitory though and what is being proposed makes me feel quite uncomfortable .

”Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." ~H. L. Mencken

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PostSubject: Re: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet   Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:22 pm

The Big Brother aspect is infuriating enough.

Add to that the fact that "cybersecurity professionals" (and who's going to screen them for anti-terror intent?) will be paid with taxpayer dollars. Those dollars of which we don't have enough for Medicare, education, arts and humanities funding.....

Seems that life post-9/11 is more about anxious survival than it is about truly living.
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