That might be the sound of your favorite website at some point in the future. It appears that the democrats are enjoying this business of having the government control everything. CNET News obtained a draft copy of a bill (S.773) developed by Sen. Rockefeller’s office has been working on in secret for months. This version would extend the authority for the president to temporarily seize control of private-sector computer networks during a “cyber security emergency”.
The problem is that the bill doesn’t define many things well. Not that this is a surprise to any of our readers as the Czar highlighted similar problems with the Healthcare reform bill. Furthermore, many computer security professionals are concerned that the government may not be the entity they want seizing control of the networks when they have repeatedly received failing grades on their computer security posture. This is even after efforts (in varying degrees) were put forth under both of the previous two presidential administrations.
From the CNET article reference above:
“The language has changed [in this draft of the bill] but it doesn’t contain any real additional limits,” EFF’s (Electronic Frontier Foundation) [senior staff attorney] 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.
Hmmm, the government controlling banks, major industrial sectors (transportation and health), with a largely complacent media (i.e. why do we need town halls to hear the kind of questions that are being asked of our representatives – shouldn’t the journalists be capable of asking these questions?), etc. And we’re not to believe that we’re heading towards socialism?