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Should government have control over internet in an emergency ?

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
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I can see where this might be necessary in very rare cases, but they need to drop the "we can monitor whatever we want without a warrant" parts.

Cyber Katrina ? LOL , sounds like a porn flick

http://www.motherjones.com/pol...obama-control-internet
Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?

Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor?an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

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 does not only add to the power of the president. It 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.

Rockefeller made cybersecurity one of his key issues as a member of the Senate intelligence committee, which he chaired until last year. He now heads the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which will take up this bill.

"We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs?from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records?the list goes on," Rockefeller said in a statement. Snowe echoed her colleague, saying, "if we fail to take swift action, we, regrettably, risk a cyber-Katrina."

But the wide powers outlined in the Rockefeller-Snowe legislation has at least one Internet advocacy group worried. "The cybersecurity threat is real," says Leslie Harris, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), "but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."

The bill could undermine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), says CDT senior counsel Greg Nojeim. That law, enacted in the mid '80s, requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.

"It's an incredibly broad authority," Nojeim says, pointing out that existing privacy laws "could fall to this authority."

Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that granting such power to the Commerce secretary could actually cause networks to be less safe. When one person can access all information on a network, "it makes it more vulnerable to intruders," Granick says. "You've basically established a path for the bad guys to skip down."

The bill's scope, she says, is "contrary to what the Constitution promises us." That's because of the impact it could have on Internet users' privacy rights: If the Commerce Department uncovers evidence of illegal activity when accessing "critical" networks, that information could be used against a potential defendant, even if the department never had the intent to find incriminating evidence. And this might violate the Constitutional protection against searches without cause.

"Once information is accessed, it can be used for whatever purpose, no matter the original reason for accessing something," Granick says. "Who's interested in this [bill]? Law enforcement and people in the security industry who want to ensure more government dollars go to them."

Nojeim, though, thinks it's possible the bill's powers could be trimmed as it moves through Congress. "We will be working with them to clarify just what is needed and how to accomplish that," he says. "We're hopeful that some of the very broad powers that the bill would confer won't be included."
 

OCGuy

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
27,220
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If we have been dumb enough to let FEMA/other govt entities suspend our constitutional rights during an "emergency", what makes you think someone can argue against this?
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
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Originally posted by: OCguy
If we have been dumb enough to let FEMA/other govt entities suspend our constitutional rights during an "emergency", what makes you think someone can argue against this?
Well it would give the commerce department the ability to monitor information. Perhaps that is how they plan to fix the economy ?
 

JACKDRUID

Senior member
Nov 28, 2007
729
0
0
.... cybercrime is NEVER an emergency, especially with modern firewalls and other security measures.

Cyber Katrina is total BS. thats why we have IT people to regularly backup, secure networks.

The only "EMERGENCY" should be when an actual emergency such as earthquake, volcano eruption, virus infestation etc , then they could broadcast a message to everyone's screen to warn them.
 

dphantom

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2005
4,511
140
106
No, NO, and NOOO!

This is how we walk down the path of tyranny. Giving powers to a President who can then decide when and to whom they apply with no fuirther oversight is dangerous. I didn't much like some of the things undr Bush, I sure as hell trust the government now even less after some of the things it has already done.
 
Dec 10, 2005
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Sounds a lot like what Schmitt proposed in his writings in the early 20th century. He said that the executive rules in the exception, as the legislature cannot possibly act quickly enough in an emergency or predict all the possible emergency sitatuations; they can only create general guidelines to help the executive decide how he should act. But what Schmitt proposed was kind of scary, because he left the "emergency" declarations up to the executive to decide what constituted an emergency.
 

Hacp

Lifer
Jun 8, 2005
13,923
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Well, these people have a point. Anyone else think of skynet?
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,386
3,518
126
Originally posted by: JACKDRUID
.... cybercrime is NEVER an emergency, especially with modern firewalls and other security measures.

Cyber Katrina is total BS. thats why we have IT people to regularly backup, secure networks.

The only "EMERGENCY" should be when an actual emergency such as earthquake, volcano eruption, virus infestation etc , then they could broadcast a message to everyone's screen to warn them.
Never say never.

Overall this is a tough call. The potential for serious damage certainly exists on the Internet. Personally I think there are way too many vital Networks attached to the Internet that simply shouldn't be. The ultimate Firewall is no connection at all.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Chances of this having any helpful impact are less, i think, than the risk of something naughty happening. In truth it's impossible to quantify either, so without any real data or strong argument (assuming there isn't one), I'd say no, screw that.
Anyone else think of skynet?
The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

We all know what happened, there. Skynet fights back and launches missiles against the targets in Russia. Do we really want that?
 

Jack Flash

Golden Member
Sep 10, 2006
1,947
0
76
Just don't see value here versus the damage it can potentially do to constitutional rights.
 

Atheus

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2005
7,313
2
0
It's impossible to control the internet. Or at least completely infeasable.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
The one medium that may be able to debate and spread the word about a govt crackdown taken over by the govt that may be doing the crack down?

No thanks!
 

dphantom

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2005
4,511
140
106
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Chances of this having any helpful impact are less, i think, than the risk of something naughty happening. In truth it's impossible to quantify either, so without any real data or strong argument (assuming there isn't one), I'd say no, screw that.
Anyone else think of skynet?
The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

We all know what happened, there. Skynet fights back and launches missiles against the targets in Russia. Do we really want that?
Only if Summer Glau is there to protect me. ;)
 

Jack Flash

Golden Member
Sep 10, 2006
1,947
0
76
Originally posted by: Genx87
The one medium that may be able to debate and spread the word about a govt crackdown taken over by the govt that may be doing the crack down?

No thanks!
You think that if that were ever to come to pass the Internet wouldn't already be down?
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
5
76
I don't see the government being able to completely control the internet, but I do see it as possible they might follow china and Australia who are controlling traffic under the guise of "it is illegal content" or "that site supports terrorism"
 

frostedflakes

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2005
7,925
1
0
No thanks, this sounds like a horrible idea. Maybe if they could provide us with a couple legitimate reasons for this authority (something less vague than "cyber-Katrina," what the fuck is that?), but I doubt there's any reason convincing enough for me to change my mind.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
Absofuckinglutely not. When the revolution comes the internet will play a critical role in organizing against the government.
 

JFoobar

Member
Feb 19, 2005
62
0
0
Originally posted by: sandorski

Never say never.

Overall this is a tough call. The potential for serious damage certainly exists on the Internet. Personally I think there are way too many vital Networks attached to the Internet that simply shouldn't be. The ultimate Firewall is no connection at all.
What sandorski said. As of today, the possible danger is extremely high. However, the move should be towards getting critical military, civil government and SCADA networks disconnected from the public Internet, not towards granting questionable powers to the Fed.

Put not your faith in "firewalls", however.

 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,386
3,518
126
Originally posted by: frostedflakes
No thanks, this sounds like a horrible idea. Maybe if they could provide us with a couple legitimate reasons for this authority (something less vague than "cyber-Katrina," what the fuck is that?), but I doubt there's any reason convincing enough for me to change my mind.
Massive Virus/Worm/etc Attack. Could happen and it could be more than just some pimply faced Teen. I don't think this should be rejected so easily. It's best to at least have some kind of Process in place, just in case.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Should government have control over internet in an emergency ?
No.

Perhaps they should make better use of it, not control it.

Fern
 

AreaCode707

Lifer
Sep 21, 2001
18,425
45
91
Originally posted by: sandorski
Originally posted by: JACKDRUID
.... cybercrime is NEVER an emergency, especially with modern firewalls and other security measures.

Cyber Katrina is total BS. thats why we have IT people to regularly backup, secure networks.

The only "EMERGENCY" should be when an actual emergency such as earthquake, volcano eruption, virus infestation etc , then they could broadcast a message to everyone's screen to warn them.
Never say never.

Overall this is a tough call. The potential for serious damage certainly exists on the Internet. Personally I think there are way too many vital Networks attached to the Internet that simply shouldn't be. The ultimate Firewall is no connection at all.


That is true. However, the responsibility lies with businesses and individuals. If your data is critical, have it backed up and safely away from the net. The government bears no responsibility, and therefore should bear no rights, on non-government-owned data.
 

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