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The Cybersecurity Trojan Horse

August 31, 2009

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S773) may just be the most serious threat to free speech you’ve never heard of.

Forget the Fairness Doctrine, forget the Diversity Czar at the FCC.  How about they just shut down the Internet?  This bill gives the president the authority to do just that. Think Iran: people take to the streets to protests a rigged election and the government shuts down the internet in response.  Can’t happen here?  With this bill, it can.

Under the guise of protecting national security, this bill would extend government control to private networks and mandate government-sponsored training and certification for anyone operating those networks.  And, if the president deems there is a “cyber-threat” to national security, he has complete authority to shut down the internet.

This is not just a Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative thing: it is a free speech issue involving the most-used communications channel today.   It is co-sponsored by senators Rockefeller (D, WV) and Snowe (R,ME).  It didn’t go anywhere in April, but it has just been re-introduced in a slightly modified form last Thursday.

I’ve been in national intelligence, security and networks since 1975.  There are real threats to network security–the Lithuanian internet was brought to it’s knees by Russian denial-of-service attacks for example–but this bill does nothing to address real issues.  And security professionals are already certified in one of the most rigorous programs there are.

But don’t take my word for it.  Watch this short video and read the bill for yourself.  Then write Rockefeller and Snowe.

You can read more about this bill on the Internet at BitStyle.tv, CNET News and even the Canada Free Press.  You can see the original bill at OpenCongress.org.    At least, today you can.

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