Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Senate Looks for New Ways To Restrict Internet

Senators start talks on larger cybersecurity bill; Federal Computer Week

Senators are beginning talks on pushing cybersecurity legislation, hoping for a successful run this time.

Top Senate staff members have been in discussions for several weeks, working to parse language from at least two separate cybersecurity bills that were introduced but not passed in the previous Congress, while senators have just joined the talks, according to Molly Wilkinson, counsel for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. ...

Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 last June. The committee approved the legislation by voice vote in December, but it died in the full Senate.

A similar bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2010, was introduced by Sens. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), a committee member, in April 2009. The panel approved the legislation, but the Senate never acted on it.

Now, Wilkinson said, staff members from the two committees, as well as the intelligence committee and others, are trying to find the best of both bills and merge them into one. ...

More government and greater involvement.

The Lieberman-Collins bill would create both an office in the White House to deal with cyberspace policies and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) at the Homeland Security Department. The NCCC would help drive strategies regarding cybersecurity while considering the government’s critical infrastructure. Also, the legislation would have the Office of Personnel Management reform the way it recruits employees for cybersecurity positions and require acquisition offices to develop protections against threats that may sneak in through the supply chain.

The Rockefeller-Snowe legislation would bolster the cybersecurity workforce by developing training and certification requirements. It would require the president to develop ways to prepare the federal government for a cyberattack, including defining federal cybersecurity employees’ responsibilities in case of an attack. The government would need to partner with the private sector on an advisory panel to keep up with trends in research and new concerns about the government’s ability to respond appropriately to attacks, among other issues.

The fiscal 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law in January, also included cybersecurity provisions, including pilot projects, provisions for buying safe computer software, and strategies for acquisition and oversight of the Defense Department’s cyber warfare abilities. ...

Read the whole article here.

Comment: How can anyone dismiss the almost complete shut down of the internet in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya during the recent uprisings and the latest efforts by the US Senate to make the internet "safe" for America as not being one in the same? I think we need to ask ourselves why is it so important for Congress to control every aspect of the internet? What is it that the oligarchs aren't telling us? Is there some anticipated uprising ready to happen here?

Consider this, the US is too big of a country to fully control the internet and prevent some type of cyberattack. The US Government's interest should be focused solely on US Government assets only, and the private sector should focus on its own. Any reasonable person knows the private sector will do a much better job than any government agency protecting its own resources. It's simply beyond the scope of government not only in constitutional terms, but practical as well.

So consider this, across the board US economists predict that unless something is done right now to stop the out of control government spending and the growth of government at every level and the devaluation of the US dollar by the Federal Reserve, the United States will hit rock bottom in 10 to 20 years, and expectations are that it will be closer to 10 than 20. Does this mean that the US Government then is anticipating an uprising in this country and this is the real reason to control the internet? It could very well be.

Is this a valid premise? I think it holds significant weight and is quite valid. So why then are we sitting back and allowing this police state to engulf us? This is the million dollar question. But unless folks don't wake up now we are in for a very rude awakening.

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