Bush gave us the Patriot Act. Obama brought us Indefinite Detentions. And now… *drum roll*… Jay Rockefeller of West Virgina proposes an internet take-over! Leave it to Jay Rockefeller to propose legislation to take over the internet in the name of “security”. It’s always “terrorists”… terrorists! terrorists! terrorists!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! A possible “CYBER-ATTACK” that hasn’t even happened yet, and probably never will? OH NOOOOOOOO!!!!! The Whitehouse needs all “critical” networks to send their content and information to be monitored. We have to make sure the information doesn’t pose a threat to the nation, after all. We must protect ourselves from the eerie possibility of a cyber-invasion!
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.
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.
A bill filled with vagueness giving the government the ability to unplug people’s servers from the internet and lawful control of private computers.
That director of the Senate Commerce Committee acted like these authorities would only be used in an emergency, but that’s so stupid. How is that strategy going to secure anything? We already have data security companies. There’s already ways to secure networks and computer data. We don’t need this overarching Whitehouse authority over the internet.
How many times in history has this same sort of “I have to take your liberties from you for your own safety” ploy been pulled? And it works time and time again. Some guy in the comments was like, “I actually agree with this.” Makes me sad.
Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States, and one of the smartest men who ever lived, wrote a book called ‘A Historical Review Of The Constitution And The Government Of Pennsylvania‘. In that book you’ll find this quote:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
– Benjamin Franklin
You’ll also find this in Poor Richard’s Almanac:
Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
– Benjamin Franklin
Please. Think it over.