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House Overwhelmingly Passes Cybersecurity Bill 170

eldavojohn writes "The Caucus, a NY Times Blog, is reporting on the overwhelming majority vote (422 yeas) the House gave a new cybersecurity bill. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, H.R. 4061 has a number of interesting provisions. Representative Michael Arcuri, a Democrat of New York who sponsored the bill called cybersecurity the 'Manhattan Project of our generation' and estimated the US needs 500 to 1,000 more 'cyber warriors' every year in order to keep up with potential enemies. The new bill 'authorizes one single entity, the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to represent the government in negotiations over international standards and orders the White House office of technology to convene a cybersecurity university-industry task force to guide the direction of future research.'"
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House Overwhelmingly Passes Cybersecurity Bill

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  • I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jwinster ( 1620555 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:02PM (#31025418)
    Since this new body is designed to "represent the government in negotiations," I wonder if there's any relation to the ACTA treaty currently discussed behind closed doors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:04PM (#31025438) forgot to check the "Post Anonymously" box.
  • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:08PM (#31025480)

    Since this new body is designed to "represent the government in negotiations," I wonder if there's any relation to the ACTA treaty currently discussed behind closed doors.

    I don't wonder at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:13PM (#31025538) []

    I went through this program. Got a FREE MS in CompSci in 3 semesters, interned at NIST for a summer and ended up working for NSF for a couple years. Started at NSF and a GS-9, was GS-12 within 2 years.

  • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:15PM (#31025560)

    You don't have to wonder. This is one of the final moves being put in place to distance themselves from public controversy. They're expressly putting treaty powers into the hands of someone who isn't an elected official. When it finally blows open, they'll conduct an investigation, which will be tied up in committee for years. The investigation will continue until it drops off the media radar and people forget about it. In the meantime, no direct criticism can be made of ACTA -- because the investigation hasn't resolved. It's a standard PR move, and it's been done before. If the public demands blood, they'll pin it on the scapegoat -- "We Were Misled" will be the headline. But the treaty will remain.

    This is how bureauacracy deals with things they know will become controversial: They elect a fall guy, and then create a web of deceit to blunt the minds of their critics and hopefully dissipate entirely any demands for their power to be reduced. And most of the time, it works.

  • Re:Orders? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mujadaddy ( 1238164 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:28PM (#31025656)
    Hi, I'm Separation of Powers, and I take laws that Congress makes and give them to the Executive branch so they can enforce them.

    In other news, you really don't know what those words you said mean, do you?
  • by zerointeger ( 1587877 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:31PM (#31025678)

    Since when does using a fuzzer to modify http headers constitute as a l337?

    So do I have to give up my computer while somebody that wants to test out their l337 skillz essentially destroying my development server and hard work without compensation?

    Where are the bills protections to me as a non-felon, voting, tax-payer?

  • umm wat? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nilbog ( 732352 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:45PM (#31025808) Homepage Journal

    Shouldn't treaties be made by people who are responsible to an electorate? Isn't that the point of our entire system of government? This seems really shady to me.

  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @03:47PM (#31025848)

    Every time I hear a government official -- or, for that matter, anyone else -- refer to a "cyber warrior" outside of the context of a game or movie review, I want to take their television away from them until they're old enough to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. And in the case of this buffoon and his thousand extra cyber warriors per year, he also needs to read The Mythical Man-Month before he's allowed to leave his room.

  • Re:Orders? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @04:04PM (#31026060)
    If Congress passes a law which has requirements of the Executive branch, then they are required to meet them. This law contains such a provision. By signing the bill into law, the President is clearly agreeing to the terms. It's not so much an "order" -- and even if it is, Congress has subpoena powers as well as the power of impeachment, so they're fully well able to order people to do things.

    If you really wanted to become the most powerful person in the country, you don't really want to be president. You want to be Speaker of the House, and then also get the chairmanship of the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees. Some other stuff like foreign affairs, defense and intelligence, etc might be nice, but controlling what comes to a vote on the house floor, and the committees which control the purse strings, pretty much everyone would have to just bow down and suck it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @04:07PM (#31026106)

    That's easy. A Cyber Warrior is someone empowered (for your own protection) to watch your communications, analyze your network of friends for suspicious links, grant your tax money to friendly contractors, seize your dangerous data, and defend your computer against its true enemies (who, as we speak, are probably planning their next attack with exploding wigs instead of flammable jock straps).

    It is an unintended and unfortunate side-effect that Cyber Warriors, in order to keep you safe, require significant funding and additional powers over you.

    Needless to say, we'll require lots of them.

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @04:10PM (#31026170)

    I think you mean System Shock 1!

  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @04:17PM (#31026258) Journal

    The entire federal government is dramatically more powerful than it should be. Just look how many powers it has stolen for itself by twisting a simple authority to regulate interstate commercial traffic.

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @04:43PM (#31026670)

    I have mod points, but this sentiment has been stated several times in this thread, and I haven't seen an adequate response.

    All treaties are negotiated by the executive branch on behalf of the president - it's in the constitution. They are then approved by Congress. This bill isn't taking power away from congress - they never had power to negotiate treaties to begin with and will still approve any negotiated by the NIST. If anything, this might be interpreted as taking power from the President as it limits who can negotiate treaties on standards on his behalf. In practice, this is a boring area and he will gladly let the NIST handle it, until a special case comes up at which point it will be within his constitutional power to appoint someone else if he wants, regardless of what this law says.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard