Saturday, April 04, 2009

GAMING THE SYSTEM. Jules Crittenden learns about the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (still at the work draft stage) from the impeccably liberal Mother Jones. Then he wonders when liberals will notice ("Awaiting widespread lefty outrage, denunciations of Biden-Obamamchitlerburton regime").

This tiresome schtick aside, I notice the bill is mostly about study groups, funding and boondoggles, and the relevant passage partly quoted by MoJo ("gives the president the ability to 'declare a cybersecurity emergency' and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any 'critical' information network 'in the interest of national security'") is possibly not as obnoxious as portrayed:
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
But, as usual, there is a lot of complicated language in the bill that may stretch the definition of "Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network" sufficiently to impinge on ordinary citizens' civil liberties, which I would of course oppose. After reading the slightly (but not entirely) more reasonable Slashdot discussion, I'm more concerned with the section that seems to grant Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning such networks" -- that is, "Federal government and private sector owned critical infrastructure information systems and networks" (emphasis mine) -- "without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." That I can say sounds very bad.

I am grateful to be kept informed on these issues, and would be more grateful to Crittenden (and imagine his contribution would be less easily ignored by readers who might be sympathetic) if he dropped the tiresome insistence that liberals are against civil liberties.

No comments:

Post a Comment