Breaking News: Bill to Give Obama 'Cybersecurity Emergency' Powers

Breaking News: Bill to Give Obama 'Cybersecurity Emergency' Powers

August 28, 2009

Breaking News: Bill to Give Obama 'Cybersecurity Emergency' Powers

Experts Warned Against Dangers of Gov’t Control of Private Networks

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2009—According to a breaking news report by CNET’s Declan McCullagh, a draft bill in the U.S. Senate would grant President Obama “cybersecurity emergency powers” to disconnect and even seize control of private sector computers on the Internet.  Back in May, when Obama proposed a “cybersecurity czar with a broad mandate” and the administration issued a report outlining potential vulnerabilities in the government’s information security policies, CEI Director of Technology Studies Wayne Crews cautioned about “the constant temptation by politicians in both parties to expand government authority over ‘critical’ private networks.”

“From American telecommunications to the power grid, virtually anything networked to some other computer is potentially fair game to Obama to exercise ‘emergency powers,’” Crews said today.  “Policy makers should be suspicious of proposals to collectivize and centralize cybersecurity risk management, especially in frontier industries like information technology.  When government asserts authority over security technologies, it hinders the evolution of more robust information security practices and creates barriers to non-political solutions—both mundane and catastrophic.  The result is that we become less secure, not more secure.”

Instead, Crews had urged the Obama Administration to focus on “securing government networks and keeping government agencies on the cutting edge of communications technology.”  As today’s news illustrates, the dangers created by such a “broad mandate” may come to pass.

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>Read the full Real Clear Markets
commentary by Wayne
Crews on President Obama’s cybersecurity czar: Obama's
Cyber Czar Should Obey "Cybersecurity Commandment
.

 

See the following reports for
further information:

 

Cybersecurity
Finger-pointing: Regulation vs. Markets for Software Liability, Information Security,
and Insurance
. By Wayne Crews

 

Cybersecurity and
Authentication: The Marketplace Role in Rethinking Anonymity – Before
Regulators Intervene
, By Wayne
Crews

 

Giving Chase in Cyberspace Does Vigilantism
Against Hackers and File-sharers Make Sense?
By Wayne Crews