Obama’s Best Laid Plans for Internet Control and the Distraction of Cybersecurity
October 26, 2012
Since the Congress voted down the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, Leon Panetta, US Secretary of Defense, has referred to the climate on the web as leading to an almost certain “cyber 9/11” , “cyber Pearl-Harbor” , and even “cyber Armageddon”.
Panetta warns that cyber extremists or an aggressive nation could “use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”
In a recent solicitation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has offered a more comprehensive monitoring service under their Continuous Diagnostic and Mitigation program. DHS is on a mission to “safeguard and secure cyberspace” with the acquisition of “specialized information technology (IT) service and tools to implement DHS’ Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program.”
Congress has allocated $183 million for the 2013 fiscal year for cyber protection programs, critical security controls, and for the federal government and other public-private partnerships.
The leaked version of Obama’s cybersecurity executive order is a compromise by the administration offered to those concerned about Big Brother controls invading US citizen’s privacy on the Web. One concession outlined is the sharing of internet traffic information by the US government and private sector corporations involving critical infrastructure and electrical grid. Social media companies would not be held under the same mandate.