Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Cyberspace under attack... By the Senate??
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a new Bill.
It is called The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, S.3480.
“The Internet may have started out as a communications oddity some 40 years ago but it is now a necessity of modern life, and sadly one that is under constant attack,” said Lieberman. “It must be secured, – and today, Senators Collins, Carper, and I have introduced a bill which we believe will do just that. The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 is designed to bring together the disjointed efforts of multiple federal agencies and departments to prevent cyber theft, intrusions, and attacks across the federal government and the private sector. The bill would establish a clear organizational structure to lead federal efforts in safeguarding cyber networks. And it would build a public/private partnership to increase the preparedness and resiliency of those private critical infrastructure cyber networks upon which our way of life depends.
Opponents ViewTechnology lobbying group TechAmerica warned that the legislation created “the potential for absolute power,” while the Center for Democracy and Technology worried that the bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems.”
The bill has the vehement support of Senator Jay Rockefeller, who last year asked during a congressional hearing, “Would it had been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?” while fearmongering about cyber-terrorists preparing attacks.
"Good intentions aside, America's technology companies are concerned about the unintended consequences that would result from the legislation's regulatory approach," said Phil Bond, president of TechAmerica, who said the changes could stifle innovation.
It would, Declan McCullagh, a committed libertarian journalist for Cnet, ““grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.” He claimed that, under the bill, “companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects ‘shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed’ by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.” Warrantless wiretapping is excluded as an emergency power.