More Security Headed Your Way

Being a registered voter now means I have more responsibilities.   Like reading pending legislation and letting my representatives know how I feel about it.

Good thing I’m not working full-time.

This latest-greatest commentary brought to you compliments of Senator John Rockefeller.   (Why does that name ring a bell? Oh yeah, now I remember….)

Senate Bill S. 773, Cybersecurity Act of 2009, has various interpretations:

According to Campaign for Liberty folks, it will give the President the power to shutdown all non-government internet networks if a state of ’emergency’ is declared.

They hypothesize that ’emergencies’ could be declared when Heretical Bloggers (aka Free Thinking American Writers exercising their Freedom of Speech rights) are ardently posting their Disagreement with Proposed Legislation (historically labeled as “Disinformation Campaigns” by the current regime.)

According to OpenCongress summary:

“The bill also calls on the Department of Commerce to establish and maintain a clearinghouse  on information related to cybsecurity threat and vulnerability information to public and private infrastructure deemed “critical” by the President.” (Full Summary Here)

I used to work for a guy who kept a list of the people he viewed as ‘enemies’ in his desk drawer.   He deemed this list of people who were dumb enough to publicly disagree with him as ‘critical’.   I would like to see the President’s list of what he calls ‘critical’ before this legislation becomes law.

The Wikipedia summary shed some light on actual language of the bill and indicated other politicians are running around, writing their own bills regarding cyber security, by turns trying to lighten or increase the power of the President to take over or shut down telecommunications.

A quick glance at Senator John Rockefeller’s website homepage shows me he has secured over 131 million dollars in appropriated funds for West Virginia – some surfing and searching netted me a press release regarding s. 773.

During my journey, I see Senator Rockefeller is a big fan of security.   He is committed to keeping Americans safe.   He also appears to be a bigger fan of defending our own infrastructure and country vs. engaging in civil wars located elsewhere.

But I also see his website contains  content that refers to the Bush Administration.   I’m familiar with how political objectives can change over time.  I question if his viewpoints posted nearly 2 years ago are still the same.

Also, I wonder how much he really knows about the internet and therefore, it’s security.

The most novice blogger knows Website Commandment #1:

“Keep your site updated and add fresh content daily.”

(I’m not really casting stones – I fully disclose my recent dereliction of duty regarding Grazin’ Acres news…)

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I will again point out the glaring contradictions –

“Yes, we have no money” (sing to Yes, We Have No Bananas) – Whoop-Whoop!

C’mon, sing the next verse with me:

“But we have plenty of money to create a new agency, form a panel and oversee the implementation, licensing and organization of a Cyberspace Security System…”

(nope, it doesn’t all fit to the music… but, hey, ain’t we having fun?)

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Last spring, for some reason still not completely known to me, I spent a day with no cell phone service and no internet connection.   Seems a cell tower went down, but never discovered the reason for no internet service.

I wandered around the house, lost as to what to do.   (I’m good at ignoring laundry and dishes…)

I needed those tools – I was in the middle of building a database for a customer (who was trying to call me with their decisions regarding bells and whistles) and maintaining a website for a candidate for the local Sheriff’s position.

I realized how much of my life revolved around a house of cards.   I took a deep breath and set about restructuring my life.

Thank goodness!   While I’m currently blogging, I do have a back-up plan to put into action when the President is faced with an emergency and my local internet access is shut down.  It’s called solar-baked bread…and, perhaps, some housework…

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Here’s my version of how this whole SNAFU came about:

Military: Oh lookee at this cool new tool.

Department of Defense Contractor: Oh lookee at what we can make it do.

Genius Entrepreneur: Just think how much campaign contributions I can make if you allow me to turn this technology into a commerical enterprise.

Politician: You got it!

(Hum while the years go by….)

Government: Oh crap!  Look at all the free speech and disinformation campaigns going on… Look at all those sales!  Hey, are we getting our fair share of the sales? Something must be done!

Senator Security-Is-My-Name: I submit to you the Cyber Security Act of 2009, just sign on the dotted line and all will be well….

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Wikipedia informs me ( History of the Internet) the birth of this wonder was originally created to support higher education objectives and those smart folks were not happy when suggestions for commercial use first appeared.

Don’t a lot of college endeavors get accomplished via Federal Grants?

If so, I rest my case.   Just replace “Military” with “Federally Funded Research”.

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Those in my circle call me a closet conspiracy theorist.   I disagree.

I can’t blog from my closet.

As a nation, we have been led down the rosy path of living via cyberspace.  Regardless it’s beginnings, the system is now primarily financed and maintained by the ingenuity, hard work and private funds of individuals.

To find pending legislation that puts the decision on whether that infrastructure is ‘up and running’ or not  in the hands of a few highly placed officials causes me heartburn.

I liken it to the wanton destruction of food stores by local officials who don’t like how a farmer is doing business.

I’m also reminded of  the “Convert to Electronic Banking” campaign and the reality of that system.

Is this really what Security should look like?

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