Will Obama Take Control of the Internet This Week?
by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
As early as Wednesday, President Obama could issue an executive order granting the federal government expansive and unprecedented power over one of the few remaining outposts of uncensored information — the Internet.
Various news agencies are reporting that a cybersecurity executive order has been drafted and will be issued by the president this week. A story on NextWeb indicates that the president will address the issue (and announce the executive order) in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Bloomberg adds credibility to the speculation, quoting “two former White House officials briefed on the administration’s plans” who corroborate the Wednesday release date for the executive order.
The Wall Street Journal reports that unnamed White House officials disclosed that the order will indeed be issued Wednesday and that it “would create a federal-government led group to work with the private sector to create and implement voluntary standards for companies running critical infrastructure. It would also take additional measures to improve information sharing and bolster cybersecurity through current regulatory authorities.”
Voluntary is a word — like so many others — that doesn’t have the same meaning in Washington, D.C., as it does in the rest of the country.
Given the the federal government’s penchant for vague language, however, it is likely that despite the denial of compulsory cooperation with the government there will be a loophole just large enough to force through a requirement of corporate cooperation with the intelligence agencies of the Obama administration.
According to information obtained by The New American, the executive order will resemble in almost every detail a cybersecurity bill that will be introduced to Congress on Wednesday.