Just when you thought it wouldn’t get worse, it does. A pair of bills (Sen 773 & 778) have been introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (W-WV) that would be a part what’s being called the “Cybersecurity Act of 2009”. These bills would grant the White House sweeping new powers to access private data online, regulate the cybersecurity industry, and shut down portions of internet traffic if it deems there is an “emergency”. A new office called the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor would be created and would report directly to the President. Hmmm….wonder how I apply for that position. Do I have to pay taxes to be considered?
For your enjoyment, here is a working draft of the bill:
This new Act raises privacy concerns on many fronts, not the least of which is it grants the White House the authority to disconnect “critical infrastructure” networks from the internet. These would include banking, utilities, health/medical, etc.
Sounds all well and good right? If there were a massive cyberwarfare attack on our infrastructure, this is just another way to protect critical elements. However, we know that this power can (and will) be abused. If the White House determines that a “threat to cyber security” exists, you can wake up tomorrow and no longer have the ability to do online banking. You may not be able to withdraw funds from an ATM. What happens next? People run to the banks to withdraw cash. Just the kind of thing we don’t need happening right now combined with the intentional devaluing of the dollar (yes, I said “intentional”. More on that in another post).
Another scary component is it provides the White House, through the Commerce Dept, the ability to monitor private networks that they deem “critical”. If you are familiar with how freaky Google can be and how they make politically-motivated decisions on who they cooperate with and not (remember how they cooperate with China to shut off parts of their search engine and parts of the web), then think how Obama and his minions would use this information.
This is just another part of the onslought of horrible legislation coming at us from this administration. Trying to keep track of the daily deluge that started Jan 20 is like drinking from the firehose. I have to ask, what is their end-game?