Though news about S.773 has been buzzing around teh intertoobs for a few days, it has mostly been subsumed in coverage of the death of the not-really-that-honorable-but-lets-pretend Sen. Edward Kennedy. The bill aims to “protect national cybersecurity” in an age of high tech terrorism. Like most pieces of security legislation coming from Washington, the security promises are great, but the infringement on our rights is greater.
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.”
The free flow of information is the lifeblood of any democracy and the foundation of our most dearly held liberties. It is critical that such freedom be preserved. Indeed the free press was the 18th century equivalent of teh internets and thus freedom of the press was enshrined as a right in our Constitution. Letters to a Dying Dream says it better than I can.
Every year and every day we let the Government take more and more of our rights away. If we don’t fight back they will make slaves of us all. This is already an administration that cannot take dissent. Although it was shut down they tried to get people to rat out their countrymen and keeps tabs on them. What do you think they are going to do with this kind of power? The less control the Government, any Government has over the internets the better. Yes laws against distribution porn to minors and Child Pornography on the Internet are good things, but giving the government the power to control it and shut it down for “emergency reasons” is very, very bad. Not only will they shut down your website, but this Bill will also give them control over your cell phone network. North Korean does not allow most people to have cell phones or even land lines because they don’t want people communicating with the outside world. What happens when our government want’s to stop us from communicating? With this Bill they can, and trust me it’s only a matter of time before they do.
Well said my intertoobs buddy. Well said.