Obama to Take Control of the Internet?

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Aug/29/2009
Obama

CNet News reported on something interesting this past week.  A bill was being proposed that would give the White House power to disconnect private sector computers from the Internet.  Say what?

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, has reportedly been working on drafting the bill behind closed doors. 

From CNet.com:

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."

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 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.

But here is where it gets really scary.

Section 201 contains this language:

The president would be able 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."

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com 

Politics News

Books Right On With May Confidence Vote: Now Odds Favor Brexit Referendum

Books Right On With May Confidence Vote: Now Odds Favor Brexit Referendum

Brexit was one of the most wagered on political events ever, and now we have more bets coming in on the referendum.

Beto Now the 5-1 Favorite to Become Democratic Nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election

Beto Now the 5-1 Favorite to Become Democratic Nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election

Beto O'Rourke was now coming in at 5-1 odds of becoming the Democratic Nominee for the 2020 US Presidential Election.

Bet the 2018 Midterms Online - Latest Odds

Bet the 2018 Midterms Online - Closing Odds

It's Election Day in the United States and folks are heading to vote, and still others are placing their wagers on the key 2018 Midterm races.

Jon Ralston Predicts Jacky Rosen Win in Nevada Based on 'Real' Info

Jon Ralston Predicts Jacky Rosen Win in Nevada Based on 'Real' Info

Jon Ralston, appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, predicted a Jacky Rosen win in the Nevada Senate race and offered the numbers to back up his bold assertion.

High Roller Bets $130K on Republicans Controlling Congress

High Roller Bets $130K on Republicans Controlling Congress

A high roller has wagered $130,000 USD that the Republicans will maintain control of the Congress after Tuesday's Midterm Elections.

Syndicate