Cybersecurity Or Governmental Control?


The Internets is about freedom.  It’s the idea that any kid with a modem can connect with the world, it’s a world of ideas and a lot of other pointless things, but while the internets might make you stupid it is also about the free exchange of ideas a uncensored debate.  Yes there is too much porn and too many kids or in many cases adults giving too much information about themselves to the whole world but when you look past all the junk it’s about reality.  Is Twitter silly and mostly useless?  Yes it is, but when it all came down to it during the Iranian election crisis it made a difference, suddenly a site whose only known purpose was nothing more than people talking about the most banal and pointless aspects of their lives (“I just got home, burritos, nom, nom, nom…”), and it became one of the only sources of information coming out of Iran when all other sites where blocked.  That’s the duality of Teh Interets.

The problem with the interwebz is that it has a large flow of information, this is a problem because the people in power want to control the flow of information, they want to keep you in the dark, and only give you the information they want you to have.  That’s why places like China try to block as much of it as they can, and places like North Korea don’t have any access at all, unless you are a high ranking party member or are a high ranking spy.

I have already spoke out against the attempts to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine that was once used to muffle free speech and H.R. 1966 an attempt to criminalize it.  However now we have S.773:

“NET 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…

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.”

Why would the President need to “size temporary control of private-sector networks”?  Control!  They want the ability to be able to control the flow of information.  Why does Hugo Chavez shut down radio and TV stations that don’t agree with him?  Because he wants to be able to control the flow of information.  Why does the US government want to be able to size control of the internets?  Because they want to ability to be able to stop voices of dissent, they want to be able to control what you read, what you hear, what you think.  FDR used the FCC to shut down radio station that didn’t agree with his New Deal policies, and latter the Fairness Doctrine was used to stamp out dissenting voices by both Republican and Democratic administrations (although the Dems used it a lot more).

Read the thing, it talks about “Critical Infrastructure” well what does the government consider “Critical Infrastructure”?  This bill is rather broad, and if we know anything about the Federal Government is that they love poorly worded or broad statements in Bill because they can try to use it latter to get away with anything and everything.  Think about the Commerce Clause in the Constitution.  The whole point of it was so that each state didn’t coin their own money or enact tariffs at the state borders, think about what they use if for now?  They use it to regulate businesses that don’t even do business across state lines.  When you give politicians an inch they don’t take a mile, they take several thousand miles. What I am saying is while this Bill might be used to help secure the private-sector financial networks it could also be used to shut down media sites or blogs in the even of an “emergency”.  Now the Bill does not specify what constitutes an emergency, and that is the problem, remember what happened in New Orleans after Katrina where the cops where coming into people houses and confiscating legally owned guns as an “emergency measure”?  This whole bill sound more like a Trojan Horse than a real Bill about legitimate security concerns due to the broad and ill-defined language.

You can call me a paranoid Right-wing reactionary but had Bush tried this you would have gone ape-shit, remember people only care when it’s their “side” that is getting screwed over rather than look at the fact that what they will do to some of us they will do to all of us.  A threat to one man’s liberty is a threat to all of our liberty.

Every year and every day we let the Government take more and more of our rights away.  If we don’t fight back they will make slaves of us all.  This is already an administration that cannot take dissent.  Although it was shut down they tried to get people to rat out their countrymen and keeps tabs on them.  What do you think they are going to do with this kind of power?  The less control the Government, any Government has over the internets the better.  Yes laws against the distribution of porn to minors and Child Pornography on the Internet are good things, but giving the government the power to control it and shut it down for “emergency reasons” is very, very bad.  Not only will they shut down your website, but this Bill will also give them control over your cell phone network.  North Korean does not allow most people to have cell phones or even land lines because they don’t want people communicating with the outside world.  What happens when our government want’s to stop us from communicating?  With this Bill they can, and trust me it’s only a matter of time before they do.

obama internets



  1. […] of teh internets and thus freedom of the press was enshrined as a right in our Constitution.  Letters to a Dying Dream says it better than I can. Every year and every day we let the Government take more and more of our rights away. If we don’t […]

  2. excellent post… I’m totally stealing it

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