Talk about invasion of privacy...
Talk about invasion of privacy...
1984 is here now, 25 yrs later than Orwell predicted.
I was just talking to my wife about this. I think we are going to see more and more of this. Then BHO won't be president and there will be an outcry by those who advanced these issues because it is someone different with the power. Kind of like what is going on in MA now!
Cyber security issues will definitely be interesting. Arguably, it is both easier and more dangerous for an enemy to attack our information systems over the Internet than it is to attack our shores. The original design concepts of the Internet were based on creating a system capable of redirecting itself in the event of the loss of major hubs. This makes it virtually impossible to block traffic except in countries, such as China, that pass traffic through single points of entry. An impact of this strength is that cyber attacks are almost impossible to track or stop. At the same time, the economics of the Internet has resulted in the creation of a small number of exchange points through which almost all traffics passes. One such exchange outside of Washington handles a substantial portion of all traffic by itself through systems that are controlled, with no supervision, by a variety of private companies operating in accordance with peering agreements that they have negotiated among themselves.
The overall architecture meets it original objectives pretty well. However, it exposes two major weaknesses.
First, any physical or software attack that focuses on a major exchange center could easily knock out half of all network traffic in the US in a matter of seconds.
Second, the entire system is more susceptible to software attacks and errors than anyone ever imagined as a direct consequence of the openness of the system. When I was more directly involved several years ago, UUNET implemented a simple software upgrade to its core routers. There was a small bug in the upgrade and the result was that the entire UUNET network, representing one-third of all US Internet traffic, was knocked out of service for 24 hours with segments off line for up to a week. Evey single router on the network had to be reprogrammed and tested before service could be restored.
Ten years ago, this was less of an issue than it is today. Most corporate networks were independent of the Internet and allowed only limited connections between corporate architectures and the Internet. That is no longer the case. There have been efforts to segregate military networks from the Internet with limited success. Corporate networks are increasingly operating across the same lines and routers and non-secure internet traffic. New standards to implement more secure transmission protocols have generally bogged down because they would require the replacement of virtually all routers in the country at a massive cost.
I haven't read or evaluated the bill (text at http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s773/text). It is clear that any plan for securing our nation's network traffic from a concerted attack will have to include provisions for securing key exchange points, root routers, and key links to financial systems. They will also need to address standards governing private systems that are of strategic national value such as the financial exchanges, core financial transaction management systems, traffic and air control systems, power grid management systems, telecommunication systems, etc.
How to do this while providing reasonable guarantees of privacy for individuals and companies will be a challenge. Failing to act in a manner that protects the country would be an invitation for an attack that would have much more serious long term implications for our survival as a country than any number of airplanes crashing into office buildings.
Big Brother just got inaugurated this past January
The bill largely addresses issus with respect to studying critical systems and developing standards. It also addreses a variety of efforts to encourage development of improved tools for addressing security issues and for increasing the number and skills of security professionals. The "action" part of the bill gives the President specific powers in the event of a cyber emergency. The relevant ones from a civil liberties perspective seem to be:
(2) may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) may order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security;
In the event an emergency is declared and action is taken under this bill with respect to a "US person", the President must report to Congress within 48 hours.
This is interesting. What Obama is proposing to do now is wrong. It was wrong when the previous president decided he didn't need warrants to spy on Americans. Why is it different now that Obama wants to infringe on Constitutional rights than when George Bush did it? If I remember correctly I didn't hear any outrage from the many conservatives on this board just alot of intellectually corrupt justifications.
This just shows me that when we take sides on an issue,(based on party affiliation) we are more readily able to forgive the party we support if they do it instead of seeing it is wrong regardless who does it.
I'm with Yardley on this. The Chinese and North Koreans have both already successfully tested the waters on disrupting the internet and hacking into important systems in America. The ramifications of a shutdown of the internet would be crippling to us...our financial system, our power grid, transportation, defense, nearly everything revolves around computers and the internet. We should do whatever we can to protect it.
From a practical standpoint, when Obama was elected we passed him the keys to our nuclear arsenal, the keys to declaring martial law, the keys to our military, and about 100 other keys that would allow him to take over, ruin, kill, whatever this country if he wanted to. While I don't agree with much of his politics, I don't think he's a madman who intends to establish himself as our own Mao, Stalin or Chavez. If Obama and Congress believe they need this bill to protect the interests and safety of America I'll give him/them the benefit of the doubt.
I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.