Simulated Cybersecurity Threats That Pave the Way for Internet Restrictions
Susanne Posel, Contributor
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, spoke to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting this week and confirmed that the Obama administration is circumventing Congress and drafting an “inter-agency process” which is “close to completion depending on a few issues that need to be resolved at the highest levels.”
John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has planted the concept that a cybersecurity executive order will give the Obama administration power over the future of the internet in ways the passage of legislation would never be able to provide. In a letter to Senator Jay Rockefeller, Brennan said that Obama is “exploring issuing an executive order to direct federal agencies to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure by working with the private sector to develop security standards.”
Last week, a draft of an executive order was floated across the internet. This version gives the executive branch over-reaching power over the internet, regardless of Congressional approval. Federal agencies will be given new responsibilities concerning protecting infrastructure while the Department of Homeland Security will be empowered to investigate all cyber security issues; yet the language is extremely vague and open to interpretation for the purposes of application.