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Bill Gives Feds "Emergency" Powers To Secure Civilian Nets

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the all-your-nets-are-belong-to-us dept.

United States 505

ziani writes "Joe Lieberman wants to give the federal government the power to take over civilian networks' security if there's an 'imminent cyber threat.' From the article: 'Lieberman and Collins' solution is one of the more far-reaching proposals. In the Senators' draft bill, "the President may issue a declaration of an imminent cyber threat to covered critical infrastructure." Once such a declaration is made, the director of a DHS National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications is supposed to "develop and coordinate emergency measures or actions necessary to preserve the reliable operation, and mitigate or remediate the consequences of the potential disruption, of covered critical infrastructure."'"

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505 comments

Uh, no, you can't have my network (5, Funny)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442912)

First off it's private property, and private property rights are covered in the Constitution.

Obama can have my root passwords only from my cold, dead, brain.

GNAA 4 LIFE!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32442922)

I just jizzed in my own face. It was awesome!

-Gary Niger

Are you sure? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32442976)

How do you know they can't already do it? Have you fully audited the entire software and hardware stacks of any routers you're using? Are you only using OpenBSD?

Worse, are you using any networking hardware manufactured in, say, China, which may have been modified prior to manufacture?

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443062)

No audit will protect you. Save bahaviour and systems will protect you and your privacy.

Re:Are you sure? (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443396)

The probability that your systems and behaviours are really secure is much higher if you actively looked for weaknesses and fixed those you found.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443042)

Well, during normal peace time a lot of things like water pipes, electricity, phone lines etc. basically what you call critical infrastructure is a civilian matter. In a real emergency or military conflict the military can send an engineer corps to fix it, and I doubt any civilian has the authority to stop them. This sounds like something fairly similar for cybersecurity. If they need to plug in some extra cryptoboxes or firewall rules or armed guards at interconnects to secure the network infrastructure, they can and will. I'm just saying that depending on what exactly this means, it might be quite similar to what's already happening for other infrastructure.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443162)

I don't have a problem with this. This is worded in such a way that they can't just quietly come in and take control of the infrastructure. It would require a presidential declaration to start this in motion. Hardly something you can hide. It will also protect the rest of the internet that we control in the event of a cyberattack. I agree with the parent. This is a logical step to secure critical infrastructure in the event of an attack. Not some paranoid bill that will allow big brother to sneak in unaware and monitor/control every aspect of the internet. It is very specific in it's target and implementation trigger.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443252)

It could probably be secure if it was handled by intelligent people. The Federals have consistently displayed to me the inability and negligence to handle anything "security" related. When we start rolling out our own nets by god they better not touch that otherwise they will have a piece of cold steel up their ass.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443410)

Please consider that the bill comes from an anti-civil libertarian, a war 'hawk', and a post-9/11 buddy of the bunch in Congress that gave you the Patriot Act, and so on. Yeah, hurricanes, oil spills, and Internet threats-- perfect candidates for federal government emergency work.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (3, Insightful)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443400)

Doubt any civilian has the means to stop them. Most real authority comes from the barrel of a gun. And even though the USA is almost totally made their once respected police officers into para-military goons, with balaclavas, blacked out badges and no name tags, armed with fully automatic weapons in many cases, with an arsenal of armored vehicles, grenades, sniper teams and trained tactical response units, they still are not the match of a average military combat unit. The police still get a minor amount of instruction and training in holding their fire and less than deadly responses.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443164)

It only covers 'covered critical infrastructure'. Think about how screwed we'd be if China took out all the power in a city. If the taps stopped working, where is the nearest fresh water from your current location, miles? This would allow the new cyber General to fight the cyber war over strategic, civilian assets.

Now if it applies to anything other than critical infrastructure... that's a whole different story

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443166)

First off it's private property, and private property rights are covered in the Constitution.

Since when does the constitution stop our government from doing anything they damn well please?

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (5, Interesting)

PerformanceDude (1798324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443210)

Hmm - let's for a minute imagine that you are the person in charge of an essential utility (say an electrical retailer with the new "smart meters" installed) and you are under attack. You are not coping, your countermeasures are not working. Bit by bit, your network fall under the control of your attacker and people are slowly but surely getting their power turned off.

Lets add to that scenario that it is the middle of winter in one of the northern states, so people are starting to freeze to death.

In that equation, would you still not hand over your root password to safe lives? Just because it is "private property"?

I'm not saying that you are incompentent as a sys-admin - but I'm saying that there may be incompetent sys-admins out there in very critical private companies (in fact - I'm sure there is - at least incompetent when it comes to fighting a competent blackhat).

I'm not sure of the details of this bill - but as in the above scenario I can certainly think of situations where intervention by specialist government experts may be needed for the greater good or to save lives.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (2, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443244)

In that equation, would you still not hand over your root password to safe lives? Just because it is "private property"?

Correct. The fact that you consider my services "essential" does not grant you the right to my services. I am not your slave.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443280)

Yes it does. If a man is bleeding to death outside a bandage store, I am perfectly entitled to get the bandages and save the mans life even if he cannot pay or the store is closed.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443448)

Yes it does. If a man is bleeding to death outside a bandage store, I am perfectly entitled to get the bandages and save the mans life even if he cannot pay or the store is closed.

Citation Needed

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443454)

Yes it does. If a man is bleeding to death outside a bandage store, I am perfectly entitled to get the bandages and save the mans life even if he cannot pay or the store is closed.

That is not true. At least from a legal standpoint. If such a thing were true, if a homeless person is starving to death, is he "perfectly entitled" to breaking into a grocery store, even if the store is closed? FUCK NO. Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to come off as a cold hearted ass, but when you start applying entitlement to situations involving unauthorized acquisition of private goods, drawing the line just cannot be done without legal precedent, so please cite a case in which a person was entitled to another persons goods based on need, and was given right to take those goods without the other persons consent, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

Entitlement will be the death if America. Look at Greece. They felt entitled to everything, were given everything, and it broke them. Look at California. Look anywhere where large amounts of entitlement ran the country for years.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443242)

Obama can have my root passwords only from my cold, dead, brain.

Read the freakin' summary, at the very least. It's Lieberman the Toad that wants to do this, not Obama. (Although, given the chance, Obama likely would...but still, this is about Lieberman.)

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443320)

this is about Lieberman

No. It's about anyone that votes for it and the guy who signs it, if he does.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443374)

The article made zero mention of Obama, other than when Lieberman referenced "the president" in his quote. This is Lieberman's idea. Granted, if it passes and gets signed into law, then obama has played a role...but until then, this is about Lieberman the Toad.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443274)

Did you RTFA? It says that the bill covers "critical infrastructure." Not all private networks will fall under this category. The fine article says:

But the staffers say that the emergency powers will only apply to a relatively small number of companies, and only in the most extreme cases — when an electronic exploit might cause “catastrophic regional or national damage” resulting in “thousands of lives or billions of dollars” lost.

In fact, the article even points out that the recent Aurora attack against Google, Adobe, etc. wouldn't count. A staffer was quoted in the article as saying, “It’d have to be Aurora 2, plus the intel that country X is going to take us down using that vulnerability.”

This all sounds rather vague, however, and vaguely-worded open-ended legislation that stomps on people's Constitutional rights has a history of being shot down by the Supreme Court.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (1)

camg188 (932324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443428)

Politicians love to be vague.
Does the bill define exactly what "critical infrastructure" is? Exactly how would a network attack result in the loss of "thousands of lives"?

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443338)

These days the Constitution does not stop government from taking over private property, it just slows things down.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (1)

Ornlu (1706502) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443388)

Who is this "Bill" guy, and why does he want to take my stuff?

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443430)

You are pretty wrong about that.

First of all, they wouldn't be interested in internal/private networks. They would be interested in the public internet. To that end, nearly all of the pieces of the public internet are privately owned but are granted "right of way" by governing agencies. This "right of way" is how their cables and devices are protected under law. But in order to get this right of way, they have to agree to be governed under certain rules. This is no different from the FCC leasing radio band ranges and then controlling what can be done with them or how they are used. In fact, participation in the public internet comes with rules of its own. Which governing agency is a subject of controversy but you know all about that I'm sure.

Re:Uh, no, you can't have my network (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443432)

Obama can have my root passwords only from my cold, dead, brain.

Yeah, I need more coffee this morning, too.

Cyberpunk (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442920)

I think someone has read too many cyberpunk novels.

Re:Cyberpunk (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443072)

It sounds like the plot to Terminator 3. If they did implement back doors or security protocols to allow handover of control to an external source, then it would just make any "cyber threat" even more imminent than it is already.

WTF? (2, Interesting)

Parker Lewis (999165) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442930)

I think this senator (John Lieberman) don't have any idea about the computational impact of this bill (almost impossible). As the majority of the politicans, he's making laws to raise credibility over the non tech people.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442960)

I think this senator (John Lieberman) don't have any idea about the computational impact of this bill (almost impossible).

Nor the irony. Perhaps they ought to try securing our borders first.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443154)

Secure our Borders? Why? I bought a Kobo eReader there for just $150. I don't feel like I was ripped off or anything.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443004)

Why impossible? they can enforce a global root password that only the government knows......

Re:WTF? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443048)

And since you can't get Joe Lieberman's name right, it seems that you know as much about politics as he does about the internet. I mean he was only the Democrat's VP candidate in 2000.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443300)

Lieberman is an idiot, and not just about the internet. Get over it.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443276)

What is impossible about a group of armed officers coming to the building and saying "give us your passwords, or else"?

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443322)

Give us the passwords, and the network diagrams, and somebody who knows the way around your myriad comm rooms and a few weeks to study and understand your topology IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!

Re:WTF? (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443462)

eh, responding to an AC. How low must I be. Trust me dear AC, if they did that, and then shot a secretary or two, or even beat someone half to death, the drones, regardless of their ITG words on /.; would quickly supply any and all information requested and do anything they were told to do by the large angry men with guns, who just committed a violent and brutal assault upon one or two of their co-workers. The high moral stances and assertion of private property rights tend to disappear when you think you are getting ready to be shot, beat or killed.

Strange name (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442934)

Strange name for a bill thats made for limiting and controlling the flow of information in case of, well just about anything. War on drugs, immigrants, terrorists, citizens?

If there was any real concern about cyber security, Windows would be outright banned on the spot.

Re:Strange name (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443134)

Strange name for a bill thats made for limiting and controlling the flow of information in case of, well just about anything. War on drugs, immigrants, terrorists, citizens?

...or in case of breaking news stories via places like the wikileaks channel [twitter.com], or other reporting of recent world events [fair.org] not in line with the Fed/Corporate interests...

Wager time! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32442942)

If this passes. (and it will, in some form) I bet we will have a 'threat' within 5 years.

And they just won't give back control of the net.

Hope i'm wrong. but... that doesn't happen often.

Re:Wager time! (3, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443070)

Given that nowadays the government IS the threat it's really ironic.

Re:Wager time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443204)

Given that nowadays the government IS the threat it's really ironic.

"nowadays"?

Re:Wager time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443260)

Fine, always.

Re:Wager time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443102)

oh you dreamer you... *when* this passes (not *if*), we'll have a "threat" within days.. and
the internet, as we know it today will end on that day...

Re:Wager time! (1)

camg188 (932324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443480)

The internet, as we know it today, will end when Congress figures out how to tax it (without serious political backlash).

Which will be extended to? (4, Interesting)

LatencyKills (1213908) | more than 3 years ago | (#32442944)

And how long before "imminent cyberthreat" is software piracy, child pornography, or any number of other crimes du jour? Thanks but no thanks - we'll take care of our own tubes.

i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443052)

the slippery slope implies that there is no rational thinking people in the room

its the same argument used by those who stand against gay's right to marry: "if we let gays marry, then people will be marrying sheep! polygamy will be legal too!" bullshit. people understand that homosexual marriage is not bestiality or multiple wives

or howabout: "if they legalize marijuana they will legalize meth and heroin too!" no. meth is not marijuana. heroin is not marijuana. everyone understands the radical differences between these drugs

if you can understand that those who use the bullshit tactic of the slippery slope against gay marriage or marijuana legalization are trafficking in fear and hysteria, then maybe you can see that in your own words, is the exact same fear and hysteria

so, just so you clearly understand... no: a cyberattack is not piracy. a cyberattack is not pedophilia. common sense attempts to secure a network is not going to be confused with efforts against piracy. or pedophilia

really. we all understand the difference. really

people, please: shut up with the bullshit slippery slope arguments. whenever you find yourself arguing in terms of the slippery slope, you have lost your grasp on rationality and reason and are simply fearful, hysterical, and confused. there is no such thing as a slippery slope. repeat: there is no such thing as a slippery slope

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443104)

If you can give me ONE example, where a set of laws were introduced (like the Patriot Act) with the promise they wouldn't go down slippery slope, AND THEY KEPT THAT PROMISE, then I'll shut up about the slippery slope.

Okay?

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (4, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443354)

I am a conservative who opposed (and still opposes) the PATRIOT act just for this reason. I am against giving the government ANY additional power or control over citizens. Especially ones with such huge possibility for misuse. I didn't want Bush to have the PATRIOT act because I knew that someday there'd be someone like Obama come along to also use it. What has this guy taken over so far? 2/3rds of the US auto industry, the entire banking industry, and now the healthcare system. Yeah, do we want to allow them to take over the private network infrastructure too?

They can't even get unemployment back under 9%.

History has proven that whenever you give government power that CAN be abused, it WILL be abused.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443380)

It has been illegal to drive under the influence of alchool. After many years, it still legal to bath under the influence of alchool.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (2, Interesting)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443106)

When was the last time you saw someone react rationally to child porn? I give it 8 years, long enough that people are used the bill, before they start overraeching with it.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443118)

the slippery slope implies that there is no rational thinking people in the room

And the "there is no slippery slope" argument implies that everyone in the room shares your opinions on everything that matters.

Note that we're talking about government here. The government's objectives at any given time are not necessarily the same as your objectives. They're not even necessarily similar to your objectives.

Do remember all the screaming about the PATRIOT Act. And then look back over the last eight years and see how much of that has actually happened...

As to the question of legalizing Gay Marriage...personally, I'm pretty much indifferent to the question, but I hate to break it to you, but the arguments used to justify gay marriage work quite well to justify polygamy/polyandry/polygyny. If I were a Mormon, I'd already be planning my ad campaign for the 2020 election season....

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443198)

As to the question of legalizing Gay Marriage...personally, I'm pretty much indifferent to the question, but I hate to break it to you, but the arguments used to justify gay marriage work quite well to justify polygamy/polyandry/polygyny. If I were a Mormon, I'd already be planning my ad campaign for the 2020 election season....

Nobody wants to prevent polygamy except the utterly undesirable who will be unable to attract a mate if they have other options. I'm sure most women would rather be the "second wife" to someone attractive, kind, or both than to be the first one to most of these fat old fucks making laws and whipping religious conservatives into a froth of voting fervor. It's not like making such unions illegal prevents them from forming, it just means that the participants lack legal rights, which is what this is all about, anyway. Giving rights to married couples is a violation of constitutional rights preventing laws which respect an establishment of religion, but we can't even get "In God We Trust" off the money after the Supremes ruled that it refers specifically to Jehovah.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443246)

Nobody wants to prevent polygamy except the utterly undesirable who will be unable to attract a mate if they have other options.

Spoken like someone who has never read any of the history on the subject.

Actually, pretty much everyone in the Western World opposes the idea. Because if they didn't, it would've been legal centuries ago....

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443328)

Polygamy is a forbidden subject with an (european) history of almost two millennia, and America is (in many ways) not different at all from the Europe (especially in those old forbidden subjects).

polygamy degrades society (3, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443350)

a bunch of rich men (its about money, not love) taking up a bunch of women represents an equal sized population of poorer men who are now without a mate, through no fault of their own

so now you have a bunch of angry rootless loveless men in your society without any hopes for their future and nothing to lose. use your boundless imagination as to the effects of that

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443366)

> I'm sure most women would rather be the "second wife" to someone attractive, kind, or both

It's nice that you feel you have the confidence to speak for myself and my friends. Your powers of perception must be quite legendary.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443336)

If I were a Mormon, I'd already be planning my ad campaign for the 2020 election season....

FYI, Mormons who practice polygamy are excommunicated, and that wouldn't change if the practice were legalized.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443362)

And the "there is no slippery slope" argument implies that everyone in the room shares your opinions on everything that matters.

Wrong. But then this is Slashdot, where the lectern is what's valuable; not what you say from it.

Get some pepto. (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443236)

ts the same argument used by those who stand against gay's right to marry: "if we let gays marry, then people will be marrying sheep! polygamy will be legal too!" bullshit. people understand that homosexual marriage is not bestiality or multiple wives

I had no problem with folks wanting to marry a sheep, cat, goat, or whatever - what they do behind closed doesn't affect me or my liberties.

the slippery slope implies that there is no rational thinking people in the room

It's no the people in the room I'm concerned about. It's the people making policy.

Border patrol. They are there to secure our borders from illegal immigrants and protect the borders from invaders, but yet, they're searching citizen's laptops for child porn. What has child porn have to do with securing our borders? Or drugs for that matter. A citizen sniffing a line of coke won't jeopardize our security or our freedom, but yet, the increased powers of the border guards has limited some of our freedom - Fourth Amendment.

Gun laws are on this continuous pendulum of restriction and liberation but the net effect over time has been more restrictions on law abiding citizens and our Second Amendment right is withering away . In the meantime, the criminals are shooting away without restriction.

Tax laws - IRS - the Mother of all slipper slopes. The income tax was put in place to pay for a war that has long been over and paid off and yet, the laws become ever more complex and violate our rights more every year.

No. The slippery slope argument exists because it's true. Sure there is a bit a hyperbole occasionally but it doesn't make it not true.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443282)

the slippery slope implies that there is no rational thinking people in the room

its the same argument used by those who stand against gay's right to marry: "if we let gays marry, then people will be marrying sheep! polygamy will be legal too!" bullshit. people understand that homosexual marriage is not bestiality or multiple wives

or howabout: "if they legalize marijuana they will legalize meth and heroin too!" no. meth is not marijuana. heroin is not marijuana. everyone understands the radical differences between these drugs

if you can understand that those who use the bullshit tactic of the slippery slope against gay marriage or marijuana legalization are trafficking in fear and hysteria, then maybe you can see that in your own words, is the exact same fear and hysteria

so, just so you clearly understand... no: a cyberattack is not piracy. a cyberattack is not pedophilia. common sense attempts to secure a network is not going to be confused with efforts against piracy. or pedophilia

really. we all understand the difference. really

people, please: shut up with the bullshit slippery slope arguments. whenever you find yourself arguing in terms of the slippery slope, you have lost your grasp on rationality and reason and are simply fearful, hysterical, and confused. there is no such thing as a slippery slope. repeat: there is no such thing as a slippery slope

While I agree that the slippery slope argument is bull to most rational people you have to realize the government is not rational and espeically lawyers who like to sue and overactive partens who believe that the law should be used to secure then when they feel scared even over the dumbest thing. These people would use the slippery slope to there advantage to try and pass more crap through the government.

So I think we should not allow this as I don't want idiots who are scared to push through more crap.

I'll go ahead and Godwin myself (1)

jorgeuva (963084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443284)

Guys, they just want the Sudetenland. That's it. Just one little strip of land. Just sign the Munich Agreement and quit disagreeing, you alarmist jackasses. Hell, they even promised they'd stop after that. What else do you want?

OK, maybe Prague and the rest of it, too. But that's it. Come on, they signed a paper. Ease up on the hysteria, don't commit any logical fallacies.

Well we didn't see that Poland thing coming but at least we weren't illogical. It's not a slope. There's nothing slippery.

Hmm, Alsace-Lorraine, well that doesn't count. You've clearly lost your grip on reason if you think this shows some kind of trend or something.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443292)

While you make a decent point, it all depends on the actual wording of the bill. Unless we've all read the bill - I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that 99% of the people posting here haven't - it's impossible to say whether this could be a "slippery slope" scenario. Your examples aside, it DOES happen.

From the wording of the linked article, I am inferring that this is simply meant to protect government interests - so that if, for example, a government contractor were to get hacked and have Top Secret documents stolen, the government would be able to step in and legally take over their network in order to track the hack to its source. I think that from a national security perspective, this is probably necessary.

However, I haven't actually read the bill. There is always a chance that it is either written poorly (very common) or will change significantly before being passed (even more common; ex: the recent healthcare bills). Depending on how it is written, it could easily toe the line of privacy rights and/or allow government access to private networks beyond the corporate sector.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

DarkIcon (244858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443302)

There rarely are rational thinking people in the room.
Rational people would have very little need for government at all.

There really is a "slippery slope" in human psychology, but it goes by terms such as "cognitive inertia" and "confirmation bias". Once people get an idea stuck in their heads, they tend to go with it (to their deaths, at times) even when all logic points the other directions.

Re:i'm sick of the fallacy of the slippery slope (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443364)

The slippery slope is a fallacy, except when dealing with government. When dealing with government, the slippery slope is Page 1 of the operations manual for increasing government control over everything.

Re:Which will be extended to? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443298)

Honestly, what else would you expect from Senator Palpatine [theforce.net]?

Joe Lieberman has yet to see a policy to expand government power that he didn't like, usually in the name of fighting terrorism. He's more-or-less the civil liberties antithesis of Russ "No on PATRIOT Act" Feingold. If the Democrats had any cajones, they would have booted him from his committee posts a long time ago.

Now, what makes him different from Republicans is that he tends to support expanding government regulations on business as well as on individuals.

Hey, it's only in an emergency (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443384)

After all, how many national emergencies have happened in our lifetimes and how long have they lasted?

Uncle Sam Knows Best (2, Insightful)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443014)

Right, because the Federal Government knows better how to secure a network than private industry.

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443032)

...and DHS is the best at coming into a crisis and ensuring that it is fixed fast.

How is a 3rd party, who has rarely if ever seen your system, going to come in and magically fix issues when the person who uses it everyday cannot?

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443064)

Just like they can stop leaking oil wells better than an oil company !

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (3, Interesting)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443178)

How is a 3rd party, who has rarely if ever seen your system, going to come in and magically fix issues when the person who uses it everyday cannot?

You're under the delusion that this bill's true intention is to help, but truthfully it's nothing more then a power grab. First they got control of the car companies under a financial emergency, next they went after control of health care because of a health care emergency, they are currently going after control of wall street because of the financial emergency, why would it surprise you that they are going after the internet (where information is freely disseminated) to control it under the threat of a cyber-emergency.

“You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.” Rahm Emanuel

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443314)

Federal government or government in general pretty much knows less about how to do ANYTHING (excepting the military) than anyone else. Look at how they dealt with Katrina, and the keystone kop operation going on in the gulf right now with the oil spill. If you depend on the government instead of yourself to save you from disaster or from starving or from cyber attack, guess what, they can't.

Also, having dealt with government IT people back when I still worked for a service provider, I can say from experience that those who work in private industry are FAR more capable than those who work for government...

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443458)

"and the keystone kop operation going on in the gulf right now with the oil spill..."

Yeah, because BP is owned by the government...

You're a moron. Quit trying to spin this into anti-government when the root cause was a private corporation.

Re:Uncle Sam Knows Best (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443426)

How many people would this agency employ? The manpower required to do this would be staggering. Unless they think they can just say "Give us up to date network maps!" at which point 99% of the ISPs out there would say "Network whatsits?"

FIX IT NOW !! NUKE RED CHINA !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443016)

There, fixed it for you.

What would they do with it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443022)

What would "take control" mean. Would the Feds have any clue how to run said network. It just means the same people would be running the network but being given "probably" nonsense commands from a FEMA person.

before you can pass online security... (1)

Xenious (24845) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443046)

You need to unplug your modem and your network cable. Please place them both on a bin and send them down the belt. Please DO NOT place any items on top of the modem. Place all other items in a separate bin.

Some days I wish we could just dissolve the DHS. Remember when it just meant department of human services? Those were the good old days.

Re:before you can pass online security... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443100)

Well, the US has its "Department of Homeland Security" and the totalitarian East German regime had its "Department of State Security".

Why do I see a pattern?

Well it was always going to be terrorism or pedos (2, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443078)

But somehow, at some point in time, the US Government will cross the line into controlling the internet just as much as any dictatorship would. (see China)

The only question is whether they will do it gradually enough for the people to notice, or not.

They already have this power.... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443114)

It's called cutting the power at power stations that control the power to the internet providers.

Re:They already have this power.... (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443348)

The internet providers (the big ones in any case) can go without power for days.

Secure? (1)

X10 (186866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443144)

So they'll hack into my systems in order to make my systems secure? Next, will they break into my car to make my car more secure? Will they abduct my kids to guarantee they're secure? Who voted for these people? Oh, it's the people who didn't vote:

"Bad politicians are elected by good people
who don't vote" (anonymous Irish election poster showing George W.)

They'll screw it up anyway (3, Interesting)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443180)

The ironic part is that even if the bill passes, is signed, and the law eventually invoked, it will be "the feds" riding to the rescue of the net. Yeah, right.
Look, I'm am no "all government intervention is bad" arm flapper. Far from it, but I'm sorry. There are clearly better hands for this task. They're running the net every day and repelling attacks every day. So what "threat", pray tell, would be so dire that only ham-fisted government cowboys could save us?

Politics on my front porch (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443212)

Putting the power of net into the hands of the fed creates a conflict of interests. The fed is highly political and all solutions from the fed are political by nature. Decisions over the "security" of the net will be made based on political agenda and public perception. At least private industry has a vested interest in protecting their resources.

If I were Verizon or Comcast and the fed took over the responsibility for security of my network, I would stop investing in protecting my resources and let the fed take the fall for any breaches. "I know it would have been prudent to put in anti hacking measures in my routers, but hey that's the feds role."

I thought Joe Lieberman was a political opportunist when he was running under the Democratic ticket. He has proven his political motivations time and time again. I don't think he is a very forward thinking individual. I wish he would stay out of these issues.

I thought network security was reason behind the funding of CERT in the 1990s. What ever happened to that effort. Oh yeah, the Internet provides became better at security then the CERT folks.

Doh.

cool linux installed for free (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443214)

so... during cyber attack all US citizens will be forced to format their windows malware laden hard drives and install Linux and gun point, this is a great idea!

Can't see the forest for the trees. (5, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443226)

Umm, excuse me Government there is a secret I think you should know:

If your 'Critical infrastructure' is connected to a PUBLICLY accessible Internet, then you are doing something wrong.

Physical analogy - utility networks (1)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443318)

Does anyone know if similar powers exist to take over things like power-stations, water supplies etc in the event of some attack/emergency?

The Wired article keeps talking about "covered critical infrastructure" without actually defining exactly what that means.

The described intent (for arguments sake lets assume they are being honest for a change) is to secure critical infrastructure. This could include things like the phone network (essential for the emergency services and governemt to function), the power grid, water supply, gas and electric distribution systems. This is not about taking over Random Corp's internal network.

Of course, as with all "emergency powers" legislation there is massive scope for abuse and for creep in what is defined as "critical", which is why they are almost always a bad idea and should always have very strict checks and balances from all branches of the government and judiciary.

They already have this authority... (2, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443330)

It's called "Martial Law," and should only be invoked during times of dire emergency, if at all.

Not being able to check Facebook does not qualify as a dire emergency.

Holy fascism batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443334)

This is ludicrous. Just another way for government to violate our Constitution and have all powers to do whatever they want to any individual or company should they choose to flex that muscle. Now, in a time of declared war, as outlined in our Constitution, the government already has the power to step in and have power over individuals and businesses. That is to be expected, in a time of war, which we are not in.

Is Senator Lieberman ever on the right side... (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443346)

...of any technology issue? Or any issue? And by "right" I mean "correct". As someone who is not a fan of the two parties (nor partisanship), it amazes me that anyone in Connecticut wants their state associated with this man.

This is not about the power to "turn off the net" (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443356)

From reading TFA, this is about the government needing the power to take over critical infrastructure in the advent of a threat to Americas national security. So for example this allows them to take over control of (and security of) electronic control networks running things like the electricity grid if the spooks get wind of an immanent cyber attack.

Just like the feds used their power to shut down US airspace after 9/11, the feds need the power to take over, disconnect, shut down, secure or control computer systems and networks controlling critical infrastructure in the advent of a "Cyber 9/11" attack (a threat that is not just the stuff of movies like Die Hard 4.0)

Per the proposal, "Critical Infrastructure" does NOT mean Google or Facebook or Slashdot or whatever, it means things like power grids, gas plants, water systems, hospitals, emergency services, oil refineries etc.

Sounds like Emperor Palpatine (3, Insightful)

aarongreenlee (1489699) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443368)

Terror, fear and threats are too easy to manufacture. With laws like this, a few people can seize powers and rule above the people. Then, traffic gets filtered or blocked and no one learns who really did 9/11 or the 'internet attack of 2015' or whatever it will be.

HA! (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 3 years ago | (#32443390)

The one way to ensure our network would go down and never come back up would be to take a complete stranger and put them in control. Make that complete stranger someone that works for the government and I'd be surprised if it didn't just burst into flame on the spot.

Imminent Central Management = Wait and Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32443464)

Full disclosure (and to inoculate you against my good sense), I'm a fiscal conservative small government type.

If one takes a high level view of various industries that have benefited from government (partial or full) takeover via legislatively classified "emergency" (real or imagined), it becomes clear that as soon as it looks like the government might step in at some point in the future (eg. a declaration of governmental involvement well in advance of any actual government action), all productive efforts by and on behalf of the "beneficiary" company, group or organizations ceases immediately. I call this the "wait for daddy to fix it syndrome". I'm sure there are other equally pithy descriptions of more official tenor than that out there, but perhaps you get the picture.

As soon as the government (a small number of people) says they will take the responsibility for a large number of systems (normally maintained by a large number of people), those most directly responsible back off and wait. It's human nature and a natural reaction to our bluntly enforced and conditioned reaction to stay out of the way of the federal government because we don't want to get audited by the IRS, have our property seized, etc.

The problem with this should be obvious. We have created a culture of non-engagement wherever the government steps in to "help".

One might argue that the government will therefore just need more people. That brings us to funding. Funding currently comes through taxes and sur-charges. The former is a percentage of economic productivity, the later is a fee imposed on a flat basis. Check out your phone bill for examples. In order to have as many people as private industry to secure networks, the government would need to increase taxes and surcharges (usually a fraction of the user cost) to the inverse of current user cost directed to private service providers in order to provide the same level of service. (eg you pay %11 tax and surcharge now and %89 goes to the telco - in order to replace the telco's functions, the federal government would need to swap those percentages.) But, since federal employee pay scales far exceed private pay scales, it would probably have to be more like %115 of user cost.

By that point, we have one monolithic national telco. Remind anyone of Ma Bell? Seems like the government thought big central organizations were such a bad thing they forced the break-up of large entities in the past. hm. Do as I say...

So, economically, this means increased cost (and likely decreased service) for you. Just keep telling your self nationalization is a good thing.

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