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Bill would give President emergency control of internet

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ajk23az, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. ajk23az

    ajk23az Through Pain Comes Clarity

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    August 28, 2009 12:34 AM PDT

    Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

    by Declan McCullagh

    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 (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 security perspective."

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10320096-38.html
  2. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with the intent in case of a national emergency but would like to know more details of how it would be implemented
  3. DIAF

    DIAF DivaLover159

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    i read the title and was like LOL WHAT but then I read the article and it made sense. The article title is totally misleading.
  4. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Ohh goodie, this is the big play to make their man a very very powerful boy. Hopefully afterwards we can give him control of the traffic lights and all the satellites in space.
  5. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    but the pattern isn't.

    what DOESN'T obama want to control?
  6. nathanlt

    nathanlt Well-Known Member

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    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.


    Just appoint a czar with no congressional accountability whatsoever. They'll make all determinations regarding when to activate the emergency control... it will be fine!
  7. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    This is just another power grab. Similar to policies in China and and other repressive countries. There are things the government can do to protect our vital national interest without resorting to such draconian measures.
  8. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I would be interested in how they would propose to do what they are talking about doing. I don't know that they could do it.
  9. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    what is the criteria to allow him to do this and how will it be defined?
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Elections have consequences. Deal with it.
  11. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    I don't like it.
  12. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    November 4th 2010! Get ready!
  13. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Those are good question and I would like to know that as well. I know when a major disaster takes place a state of emergency is put into place which also can infringe on rights but is also important to prevent wide spread chaos such as looting
  14. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    The US relies on the Internet and cell phones to communicate.They will try to take over both based on previous admins taking over individual rights for the greater good.
  15. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The justification will be that our Internet Access will indanger our financial systems. Because of this, the Government will take steps to ensure that the Banking System is not compramised.

    Cyber Security is a big ticket in the Fed. these days. That is the reasoning and justification that will be used IMO.
  16. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Without knowing all the information I can't say 1 way or the other if this is a good bill or not. I could see situation where it would be critical to the security of the nation in certain cases of emergency.
  17. CowboyWay

    CowboyWay If Coach would have put me in, we'd a won State

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    Quick show of hands...............who thinks this bill will pass?

    Anyone???

    Anyone????
  18. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    When you need your pron fix you gotta have full access. :laugh2:
  19. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    No need. The UN taught me how to "pleasure" myself.
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Well that is what the UN is there for and they are experts they have been jerking the US around for years. :lmao:

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