Senate Introduces Cyber-Security “Czar”

John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe, Senate backers of a bill which gives the executive branch broad crisis powers over the internet, have separately introduced legislation to create a “cyber-security czar.” This new federal position will oversee the many new programs, regulations and crisis planning which the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 lays out in fuller detail. The “czar” will require Senate confirmation, but will come with a high security clearance.

It’s not yet clear to me whether the president must give authority to shut down private networks for “national security” reasons, or whether, like the Federal Reserve, Obama’s technology “czar” will have broad discretionary power to determine and enact crisis measures. A figure like this may be necessary in an increasingly interconnected web filled with patriotic hackers (ask the Estonians about Russian DDOS attacks), astro-turfers and other digital mercenaries.

Still, while the vagueness of “national security” may match the amorphousness of cyber-threats, this is certainly a momentous power shift toward “federalizing” the web. I wonder how far down the road some kind of law enforcement censorship regime is. Australia and other Western democracies are facing that battle right now, and web freedom advocates are losing in spades.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Current Events, I&D Project. Comments Off on Senate Introduces Cyber-Security “Czar”

Comments are closed.