Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Obama and Teh Internetts

There's been quite the ruckus over the recent draft of the Cybersecurity bill coming out of Washington and its seeming ability to shut down the internet like some form of digital martial law. Wired Magazine has an article sort of debunking the fear as unfounded. While I'm not falling over myself in fear of the next great Fascist state, as Larry Clinton of the Internet Security Alliance is quoted as saying in the Cnet article, "I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness."

That's my exact issue with it. While I doubt Obama would try and stretch the meaning of the bill to fit some sort of agenda, The Bush/Cheney administration proved that we do have things to fear about future presidents.

In the event of an immediate threat to strategic national interests involving compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network — [the president] may declare a cybersecurity emergency; and may, if the President finds it necessary for the national defense and security, and in coordination with relevant industry sectors, direct the national response to the cyber threat and the timely restoration of the affected critical infrastructure information system or network.

If the President finds it necessary. It's amazing the number of things Bush found necessary. That's what scares me. There is no objective metric by which to determine a time for action. It's put entirely in the hands of the big cheese. Again, Bush and Cheney proved that presidents are not to be trusted. I doubt Obama would do anything as wonky and borderline immmoral as the Bush admin, but that's all it is: a doubt. Whether his acolytes want to admit or not, Obama's reversal on Telecom immunity proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he... is... a... POLITICIAN.

He's arguably a good politician, but he's still just that. And as the joke goes, politicians are like diapers, they should be changed frequently and for the same reason. I trust Obama more, but still not as far as I can throw him.

He may "direct the national response to the cyber threat and the timely restoration of the affected critical infrastructure information system or network." Again, the word direct can be taken many ways. Is he ordering the actions taken? Is he simply the de facto leader of a group of willing, private participants. And what's with the word restoration? Restoration? Restored from what? Restored from an ordered government shut-down? That's worrisome, again, because vague wording that in the hands of a moral and philosophical person may not be a problem, but vague wording in the hands of the next Bush could be a disaster.

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet (
Umm… Actually Obama Doesn’t Want to Take Over The Internet (
Wouldn't The Last Thing We Want During A 'Cybersecurity Emergency' Be For The Gov't To Take Over Private Networks? (

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