Saturday, February 27, 2010

Feds Move to Increase Internet Control

As I have noted previously, the federal government, under the guise of "cybersecurity," is moving toward taking increasing control of the Internet. That effort is now being aided by legislation currently being crafted by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

Via (emphasis mine):
According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack.
The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans to ensure key federal or private services did not go offline during a cyberattack of unprecedented scope, the aide said.


Privacy groups are nonetheless likely to take some umbrage at Rockefeller and Snowe's latest effort, an early draft of which leaked late last year.

When early reports predicted the cybersecurity measure would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," online privacy groups said they felt that would endow the White House with overly ambiguous and far-reaching powers to regulate the Internet.
You will find the entire article at this link.

Given that the Internet has become such an integral part of life in America, and realizing that a determined cyberattack could severely damage our nation, I am not suggesting that the federal government has no role in this area. After all, defending this nation is priority #1 for the federal government.

What I am concerned about is government abuse, given that we hear more and more about abuses of power being carried out by government agents all the time, and not necessarily those employed by the feds.

I am not all that comfortable with this kind of power being put in the hands of one person, regardless of who they are, and that goes double, or even triple, given who is residing in the White House at the moment.

Somewhere a line needs to be drawn between defending cyberspace and protecting the privacy and freedoms we are constitutionally guaranteed, yet I freely admit I am not exactly sure where that line needs to be placed. I am, however, quite sure I don't want the likes of Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe being the ones to draw it.

Sadly, this crucial issue hasn't gotten anywhere near the play in the public arena that it should, given the serious implications involved.

Hopefully that will change as this legislation makes its way though congress.


DCG said...

Concur they need some amount of protection but we all know that the goal of this admin is one thing - power.

"promote public awareness"...there they go again. Us Americans are too stoopid to figure things out for ourselves. Govt thinks they need to educate us about everything...

Dave said...


What the government refers to as education I define as indoctrination.

Given the past (and current) associations of Obama, I trust him not at all in this area.


When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy Thompson