What am I talking about? I am talking about Bill S.773 that is before the 111th Congress 1st Session – AKA Cybersecurity Act of 2009. This bill was introduced to the Senate by Senator Rockefeller, et al. dated March 31, 2009. According to the “Cybersecurity Act of 2009 as found on OpenCongress.org’s Web site; this is “A bill to ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective Cybersecurity defenses against disruption, and for other purposes. “ (OpenCongress.org, 2009).At first glance this sounds like a great program, except for the fact that the above statement is vague because it fails to state what and who is affected by the bill. It’s no wonder that out of approximately the 1000 people that responded, only two percent support this bill. I, for one, oppose the bill.
In Sec. 2 paragraph 1, it states that “Congress finds the following: America’s failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent national security problems facing the country.” Currently the American portion of the cyberspace is owned by private companies. The government is looking to take over the responsibility of protecting its citizens and its infrastructure against attacks.
The bill, if passed, will give the President of the United States of America or the Cyber Advisory Panel the ability to SHUT DOWN any Internet connection they deem a threat to national security or to the National Cyber Infrastructure. This will inhibit freedom of speech and could raise a large number of violations of the freedom of speech lawsuits. Currently it is estimated that 18-22 percent of cyber attacks originate from within the United States. The other approximately 78 percent, should be the responsibility of the governments from which the attacks originated.
This bill will punish citizens by failing to honor “innocent until proven guilty.” It is also designed to protect companies that have been too stupid to protect themselves against attacks. Maybe these businesses should not remain in business if they fail to implement some form of cybersecurity. (Cisco.com, 2009)
Booz Allen Hamilton recommended to “establish a single voice for cybersecurity in government.” This statement goes against all democratic values that our country was founded upon. The proponents of this bill allude to the government needing more power to protect its people. This would violate the very principles of the Declaration of Independence and “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” by taking away the functions of top networking companies like Cisco. According to Cisco, they currently employ more than 65,545 employees worldwide. If these regional cyber centers are government run, then many of these Cisco employees would be out of a job.
Do you feel that we should give the President or an advisory committee the ability to cut off people’s business Internet service or even home Internet service just because they say it’s a national security risk? In the Section sub paragraph 13, President Obama implies that we are doomed if this bill isn’t passed. (Opencongress.com, 2009)
Cisco.com – News@Cisco – > Fact sheet, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/corpinfo/factsheet.html
Open Congress Text of Senate bill S.774 – Cyber Security Act of 2009, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s773/text