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New CyberSecurity Bill Raises Privacy Questions 319

Nicolas Dawson points out coverage in Mother Jones of the early stages of a new cybersecurity bill that conveys sweeping powers on the President. Quoting: "The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to 'declare a cybersecurity emergency' and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any 'critical' information network 'in the interest of national security.' The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president. The bill ... also grants the Secretary of Commerce 'access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.' This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws."
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New CyberSecurity Bill Raises Privacy Questions

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  • Route Around Him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03, 2009 @01:59PM (#27448365)

    This is precisely what the Internet was designed to defend against. Let us continue to work to insure that the Internet will view the President as damage, and route around him in the event of an emergency.

  • by Taibhsear ( 1286214 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:03PM (#27448431)

    I think I speak for everyone here on slashdot when I say

    Fuck you!

    Define the terms in the bill. List the checks and balances in this that will prevent a tyrant from encroaching on our constitutional rights. The supreme court really needs to start looking into this shit and start hacking apart these bills and laws that infringe on our freedoms. If not, they need to be replaced with people who will.

  • Presidential ddos? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TinBromide ( 921574 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:06PM (#27448471)
    1) Threaten national cyber-security
    2) President shuts down the national infrastructure
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

    Sounds to me like you don't even need to code a worm that is capable of shutting down the internet, all you have to do is make someone believe you have already done so and the president will do all the heavy lifting for you.
  • by Oxy the moron ( 770724 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:14PM (#27448625)

    If not, they need to be replaced with people who will.

    I'm a computer guy with only a basic understanding of government... but doesn't the President replace the judges? If he wants to wield that much power over peoples' rights, won't he just put more justices up there that support his power grabs?

    Also, I'm pretty sure the only way they get replaced is if they step down or... you know... die. I highly doubt they'll care about "getting replaced" in either of those situations.

    How lovely.

  • Re:wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by A. B3ttik ( 1344591 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:19PM (#27448711)
    Hey, it's Obama!

    We trust him, right?

    [fonzie]Come onnnnnnnnnnnn!!!![/fonzie]
  • by Markvs ( 17298 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:20PM (#27448737) Journal
    Not only has this not been reported by any mainstream media source (AP/UPI/Reuters) or in any news source of record (WSJ, NY Times, et al), but that it's not listed on the Senate's website? Or that the PDF is a blank template without any names on it?

    Methinks \. caught a regurgitates April Fools blog entry a couple days late!
  • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:23PM (#27448817)

    Ironically this was a case of a Democrat and a Republican who usually votes with Democrats submitting the bill.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:25PM (#27448849)

    Your argument is pretty flawed.

    No privately owned network that is important enough that a DDoS attack would cause any serious harm should not be connected to the internet.

    And the network that links satellites to the Pentagon, (you are talking JWICS?) is no public network either, it is owned by the US DoD, and as such they can do anything they want with it.

    Ergo this law is absolute bull. Either your network is private and you can do anything you want with it.

    Sure it might be nice to have the power to cut of a massive DoS attack comming from a single point, but that won't happen anyway.

    It's DDoS these days. And there is one way to stop it: take the system offline ;) but that would be a successfull DoS, wouldn't it? As would cutting the link be.

  • Re:wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:38PM (#27449045)

    We trust him, right?

    Completely besides the point. Even if we trust Obama, and I must admit I have doubts about him, this law will survive his term as president.

    Can you trust EVERY FSCKING PRESIDENT that follows him?

    I know I can't.

  • Re:wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @02:45PM (#27449127)

    You know they would have defined Wednesday an emergency due to conficker, even though NOTHING HAPPENED.

    I'm skeptical that the worm even exists.

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Friday April 03, 2009 @03:11PM (#27449477) Homepage Journal

    I read this very differently, and I think this is just the case of a VERY bad Slashdot summary and a terminology barrier between the government and the geek community. "Data" doesn't appear to indicate live bits streaming over networks, here. I think this is saying, "relevant data" and meaning "information relevant to understanding the topology of critical networks." That is, if you run a backbone in the US you have to tell the Feds about it and give them specs.

    As the Net becomes more of a critical piece of US infrastructure, I don't think that's terribly unreasonable.

    Now, if someone can demonstrate that this is being pushed as a way to snoop on packets without a warrant, I'll stand corrected, but it just doesn't read that way at all to me.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @03:13PM (#27449513) Homepage

    Now I see why so many people become anarchists... ;)

    Demanding that our government respect the principles of our nation is not anarchic. It is Constitutional conservatism. It is patriotism.

  • Re:wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hordeking ( 1237940 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @07:59PM (#27452991)

    Ooo, please, godefroi, who wins the super bowl next year? you must be from the future, as you know the outcome of the bill... He's either going to veto it or not. We DO NOT know yet. Even if he doesn't, we don't know if he will (ab)use it. Stop doommongering.


    if someone put a contract in front of you, where basically your consideration in the contract was to "use what we give you at your leisure" and theirs was "giving you unlimited power", would you not sign it? If not, I'd call you stupid.

    And as much as I can't stand Barack "hOpe" Hussein, I'm almost entirely sure he's not stupid.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.