September 9th, 2012
(HigginsBlog) – President Obama is circulating draft legislation of CISPA legislation he will sign into law through executive order after Congress failed to pass it.
When the US congress tried to push legislation into effect to protect America’s so-called critical infrastructure from the imminent threat of a doomsday cyberattack it was meant with such a huge public outcry and protest Congress couldn’t enact it.
Why? Well it didn’t take a genius to look at the legislation and realize it did next to nothing to in regards to actually protecting America from a cyberattack but instead open a Pandora’s box which essentially allowed companies that send your data across the internet to send all of that data to Uncle Sam.
The legislation was written to give the government and participating companies immunity from any lawsuits or criminal charges for illegal activities they participate in the name of cybersecurity.
In short the bill was nothing more than a complete suspension of the constitutional protections against illegal search in seizure.
In essence the legislation issued a permanently issued search warrant that targeting every single American and forced every single company in America to hand over all internet traffic to Big Brother so it can be monitored for cyber threats .
The bill died in Congress but Obama isn’t giving up on yet as recently appointed Assassination Czar John Brennan made clear last month when he first floated the idea of pushing cybersecurity legislation into effect through an executive order.
Now several news outlets, including The Hill, The Washington Post and Bloomberg, are confirming that President Obama is in fact circulating a draft executive order which effectively bypasses Congress and orders cybersecurity legislation into effect.
Several corporate news outlets are trying to trying to play down the Obama’s bypassing congress with an executive order by claiming Obama already had the authority to issue many regulations.
They further parrots the governments propaganda that the orders he doesn’t issue are only being issued as ‘voluntary guidelines’.
Buy even the Washington Post points out their parroting of the government’s talking points that these voluntary guidelines will really be mandatory anyway and organizations and agencies will likely adopt said ‘voluntary guidelines’ without even being ordered to do so by Congress
So once Obama’s cybersecurity executive order is finalized we can all kiss the internet goodbye as complete control of it will be handed over to the Department of Homeland Security by the order.
Even worse is the draft order is said to only be 4 to 5 pages long meaning the executive order will be full of overly vague language open to secret interpretation.
From Zero Hedge:
There was a time when the NSA would not know the content of this sentence minutes (or depending on the speed of typing, hours) ahead of our general readership. Those days are now gone, primarily thanks to the Patriot Act, which however merely accelerated the inevitable Orwellian destination to which American society was otherwise headed and which made constant “supervision” and “vigilance” of every US citizen a necessity (for some eyewatering details read “We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State” – Big Brother Goes Live September 2013). There was, however, one aspect of society over which the US government did not have Chinese-type “firewall” supreme authority: the Internet. Now, as a result of an Executive Order being quietly drafted, the president of this once great country, together with the Department of Homeland Security formed in response to the events of September 11, is about to grasp supreme control over this last bastion of New Normal expression and content dissemination, naturally under the guise of protecting the people. Because as Bloomberg reports, President Obama’s administration is drafting an executive order that would create a program protecting vital computer networks from cyber attacks.
The premise: the US government needs to defend the feeble and defenseless private sector from all enemies, foreign and domestic, because, it would appear, the private sector is incapable of defending itself. And Uncle Sam is more than happy to supervise and take charge of said “defense.” “An executive order is one of a number of measures we’re considering as we look to implement the president’s direction to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyberthreats,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in an e-mailed statement today. “We are not going to comment on ongoing internal deliberations.” Also, did we mention that the US president’s decision for the greater private good would be unilaterally imposed, without the benefit of a democratic vote: after all executive orders, of the type Obama has issued 134 so far, do just that: circumvent the popular vote. We did? Good.
The draft, which remains under review and could change, seeks to implement a key provision in a cybersecurity bill that failed to advance in the Senate last month, the officials said. The administration is contemplating using an executive order because it isn’t clear Congress would pass a cybersecurity bill.
The draft calls for the Department of Homeland Security to create a council that would work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish the cybersecurity standards, the officials said.
While the program contemplated in the draft order would be voluntary, the Homeland Security Department would require companies participating in it to submit reports describing how they are protecting their networks, the official said.
The lack of incentives and the requirement for reports could undermine the willingness of companies to participate in the program, the official added.
John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said on Aug. 8 the administration would consider taking executive action to protect computer networks.
“If the Congress is not going to act on something like this, then the president wants to make sure that we’re doing everything possible,” Brennan said.
The pretext: Weapons of Mass Cyberdestruction. And only Obama, in conjunction with the US government, but absent a democratic vote, can prevent an all out onslaught:
Senate Republicans and business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce blocked the cybersecurity bill. They said the voluntary standards would be a back door to government regulation of companies. The bill was sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican.
Brennan said opponents misrepresented the bill, which he said called for minimum performance standards.
“Believe me, the critical infrastructure of this country is under threat,” Brennan said, adding that foreign states and hackers “are developing advanced technologies, and we have to improve our defenses on this issue.”
Obama could accomplish many objectives of the Lieberman- Collins bill with an executive order or other directive, Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview last month.
The real purpose:
Matthew Eggers, senior director of national security at the Chamber of Commerce, has said an executive order would be counterproductive and would show the administration wants to regulate cybersecurity.
The Obama administration is already circulating a draft presidential directive dealing with a related issue: collecting and disseminating information about cybersecurity threats. That reflects “early” discussions about how to update a 2003 directive for protecting the most critical U.S. assets and “is not close to being done,” Hayden said on Aug. 29.
In other words, it will be up to the government to intermediate in isolating and determining threats: for example… anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. And it will be up to the government to deal with said threat cleanly, quietly and efficiently.
Sadly George Orwell is long dead. But if he wasn’t, we have some ideas what the sequel to 1984 would be titled.
In the meantime, we, together with various government bureaucrats, are already wondering what the first false cyberflag attack on US soil will be.
by Obama’s recently appointed Assassination Czar John Brennan.
The Hill reported when breaking the story:
The White House is circulating a draft of an executive order aimed at protecting the country from cyberattacks, The Hill has learned.
The draft proposal, which has been sent to relevant federal agencies for feedback, is a clear sign that the administration is resolved to take action on cybersecurity even as Congress remains gridlocked on legislation that would address the threat.
The concept builds off of a section in the cybersecurity bill from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) that was blocked last month by Senate Republicans, who called it a backdoor to new regulations.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan first floated the idea of an executive order in a speech a few days after the Senate bill failed. He said the White House would consider taking action on the executive level to ensure key infrastructure such as the power grid, water supply and transportation networks are secure.
The momentum for cybersecurity legislation in Congress weakened after Lieberman’s bill failed to clear the Senate. Now industry groups and Congress are watching the White House for clues about what might be included in a executive order on cybersecurity.
A spokeswoman for the White House declined to comment on whether a draft for a executive order was being circulated, but said it is one of the options the administration is weighing.
According to the people familiar with the draft, the executive order would set up an inter-agency council that would be led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Members of the council would include the Department of Defense and the Commerce Department, and discussions are ongoing about including other agencies and officials, such as representatives from the Department of Energy and Treasury Department, as well as the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.
DHS would be responsible for the overall management of the program, but the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would work with industry to help craft the framework for it. The agency would work with the private sector to develop cybersecurity guidelines and best practices.
DHS would receive the guidance from NIST and work with so-called sector coordinating councils to identify which industry sectors would be considered critical infrastructure, as well as determine what cybersecurity best practices and standards the industry participants in the voluntary program would follow.
Those coordinating councils are already in place, and fall under an arm of DHS that manages critical infrastructure protection. The councils are run and organized by industry members from each sector, such as financial services and electricity.
It would be left up to the companies to decide what steps they want to take to meet the standards, so the government would not dictate what type of technology or strategy they should adopt.
One of the main issues still under discussion involves the kinds of incentives the government will offer critical infrastructure operators to entice them into the program.
Source: The Hill
Federal Computer Week – Executive order could institute controversial cybersecurity measures
The Washington Post – White House drafting standards to guard U.S. against cyberattack, officials say
Source: Higgins Blog