Now That We're All Afraid Of A Cyberwar, The Gov't Starts Legislating

from the well-that'll-fix-things dept

We've discussed the overhyped moral panic around the concept of a cyberwar, and how the term is abused -- potentially just as a way for government contractors to get hundreds of millions in easy government contracts. And, it looks like that process has only just begun. Senator Joe Lieberman is apparently about to unveil a "Cybersecurity" bill that doesn't seem to attack any real issue in making the government more secure. Instead, it looks like it really just seeks to limit competition in what government agencies can purchase. In other words, it'll just make things more expensive for the government, while probably not doing much to make anything or anyone more secure.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:11pm

    "The talk focused on the search for strategies to deflect such threats inside and outside government while also protecting the free flow of information across national boarders."

    Sounds similar to the pretext used to justify regulating public airwave and cable infrastructure into a monopoly. "How can we people to build new cableco infrastructure [give monopoly power because cableco is supposedly a natural monopoly] while encouraging various opposing opinions and the freeflow of news" or "How can we regulate the limited public airwave space to become more organized and less chaotic while still encouraging all various opinions and news to be distributed." The solution? Allow the government to require licenses and then, to get the people to accept these licenses, limit the amount of public airwaves any single entity can own. Then, once people get used to that, start removing those limitations over time and, behind the public's back, start ensuring that all important news and opposing viewpoints get systematically censored from the public (which is what we have now, ie: the news and viewpoints here on techdirt gets censored from the public) and that there is a monopoly on all content and on all the information distribution channels.

    But, of course, the natural monopoly card doesn't work with the Internet. The chaotic public airwave card doesn't work either, since there is practically unlimited information channels. So what card do they have to pull now to turn the Internet into a shopping mall where all important information gets censored? The homeland security card.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:16pm


    How can we encourage people to build new cableco infrastructure *

    I cringe when I read this kinda government regulation news. If the government was really interested in the public interest they would fix copyright law, they would first fix patnet law, they would stop granting cableco/telco monopolies, and they would fix the current broadcasting infrastructure that ensures a monopoly on both content and distribution channel and that systematically censors important news. But instead, they are merely seeking to regulate the Internet to turn it into a shopping mall. I do not want the government to turn the Internet into what they have turned everything outside the Internet into.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    mirradric, May 20th, 2010 @ 12:07am

    Perfect Cyberwar Weapon

    The perfect cyberwar weapon is ACTA and/or three strikes. Then again given that big politicians and big cooperations seem somehow immune to it, it might not be that perfect after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    PapaFox (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 2:29am

    China is equally afraid

    China is usually given as the bogey man in cyberwar scenarios. What most people in the west don't understand is how vulnerable China is to a cyberwar.

    Ninety percent on all PC's in China - whether personal, academic, corporate or government PC's - have pirated copies of MS Windows, which means that these PC's cannot run Windows Update. The vast majority of PC's in China have unpatched vulnerabilities - many are actually already infected with malware.

    China is running its' own cyberwar scare campaign - there are many articles in the Chinese press about various research institutions has PC's hacked and secrets stolen. China is extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks and they are very aware of it. The Chinese government has a program in place to remove MS-based software from all government computers. It would appear that this program has a long way to go - with vastly more than 50%, possibly as much as 90% of government PC's still running Windows.

    The last thing on the Chinese governments' mind at the moment is starting a cyberwar. They'd lose it and they know it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    akston, May 20th, 2010 @ 3:24am

    "concerns about a procurement provision in the House bill that would require the government to develop a list of technologies, in order of priority, that agencies should use to automate security functions"

    The US govt's preferred automated security technologies eventually making their way to my computer? Thanks, but no thanks.

    But given numerous states are now building or are preparing to build out national internet infrastructure, we may have no choice but to purchase routers with killswitches built in - or whatever - in a decade's time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    abc gum, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    for whom the bell tolls

    Against whom will this "cyberwarfare" be waged ?

    I suspect that the general population is not off limits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    NUKE intellectual property, May 20th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    The so called cyber war

    is and shall all be because of the USA meddling on and in foreign govts
    it shallbe because of ACTA
    it shall be because of patents and copyrights
    it shall be US that stand for true freedom versus you that stand for profit taking and malicious prosecution of the poor and disabled
    it shall be because you say its FOR the children yet you harbour the priests that rape and molest them
    it shall be because you in fact do not have compassion

    we tried it the nice way
    now have it another way
    lets just see what happens when all the worlds hackers fuck with the usa at once ....are you game ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Dohn Joe, May 20th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    It'll Do Something All Right

    In other words, it'll just make things more expensive for the government, while probably not doing much to make anything or anyone more secure.


    Oh no...what it'll guarantee is that companies like Microsoft who are incompetent with security get all the Government contracts while keeping out those pesky capable competitors...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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