Senate Votes Down Cybersecurity Act, Obama Likely to Sign Executive OrderAugust 6, 2012
By Susanne Posel, BLN Contributing Writer
While a compromised version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was introduced to the Senate in July, the false claims of “. . . foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day. It would be the height of irresponsibility to leave a digital backdoor wide open to our cyber adversaries” was perpetuated by President Obama.
Shawn Henry, a veteran of the cyber security division in the FBI, stated in a CBS interview that although he has no proof, Russia and China are behind infiltration and damage to computers in America, while also claiming that he feels it is “very, very likely” that a massive cyber-attack is due to occur.
According to Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, Obama may just write an executive order to ensure his cybersecurity agenda is implemented. “In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed. Moving forward, the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protects our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that.”
Carney emphasized that Obama is focused on “protecting vital computer systems”. Since Obama’s coercion did not work on Congress, he could bypass Congress (as he has done several times before in this administration). Claiming “we can’t wait”, Obama could enact any or all of the provisions in the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 by EO. And this would enable federal agencies to regulate any authorities needed to take-over the free flow of information on the internet in the name of protecting the private corporate sector.
An EO would be an illegal power grab in the vein of any would-be Dictator.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has begun scouting colleges and universities for the next generation of American grown hackers . The NSA wants an elite team of “computer geniuses” that are trained in hacking before they obtain their college degree. The students selected to train under this program will not be privy to the impact their work will have on cyber intelligence, military capabilities and law enforcement’s expansion of spying on Americans.
Neal Zing, technical director for the Information Assurance Directorate within the NSA, said: “We’re trying to create more of these, and yes they have to know some of the things that hackers know, they have to know a lot of other things too, which is why you really want a good university to create these people for you.”
Back in 2011, Senator Joseph Lieberman wrote to internet giant and NSA cooperative Google to gain their aid in censoring what he called jihadist content from blogger Jose Pimentel. Lieberman wrote: “Pimentel allegedly used the Internet to access instructions to make bombs and share his support for violent Islamic extremism. [Pimental's] site is just one of the many examples of homegrown terrorists Google-hosted sites to propagate their violent ideology.”
Censorship and control of the internet has been a favorite of the Obama administration. They have claimed that the infrastructure of the nation is susceptible to hacker infiltration. In the agenda to lockdown the internet, the hackers have been quite useful. They have created the perfect nameless, faceless Boogeyman. Lieberman has also been behind the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act , from 2010.
In its current incarnation, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has been blocked by a Senate vote of 52 to 46 which stopped the legislation dead in its tracks.
Senator John McCain, co-author of the NDAA, asserts that this bill greatly restricts and burdens corporations. Included in the bill were optional standards for computer systems that oversee American infrastructure such as power grids, dams and transportation.
In March of this year, members of the Senate met behind closed doors to attend a briefing by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where a staged cyber-attack was performed with the intent “to provide all senators with an appreciation for new legislative authorities that would help the US government prevent and more quickly respond to cyber-attacks.”
The focus of the attacks were US banks, power grids and telecommunications systems.
However these systems are not connected to the internet and therefore that argument is moot. In fact, the power grid and public water systems “are rarely connected directly to the public internet. And that makes gaining access to grid-controlling networks a challenge for all but the most dedicated, motivated and skilled — nation-states, in other words.”
The most curious recent hacker threat comes from CIA-controlled groups like Anonymous who mysteriously infiltrated the main database of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the collection agency for the privately-owned Federal Reserve Bank. They retrieved Mitt Romney’s tax returns, dating back 25 years to expose his lack of payment to the IRS, which covertly is a pro-Obama move to make Romney look bad in the public perspective.
Back in April, Anonymous was used to fear the Congress into supporting the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 when at the annual RSA conference , CEOs from major corporations came together to voice their concerns over hackers and admonish the US government for better security when it comes to “cyber-attacks by spies, criminals and activists.”
Anonymous and LuzSec (a pseudonym of the hacker group) were named at the conference.
The purpose of any and all cybersecurity legislation is to not only combine the US government’s ability through various agencies to collect data on unsuspecting Americans and decide who or what a threat is and have the legal-backing to “act accordingly”. The broad definitions of terrorism under the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, and the fact that the NSA recruits hackers points to the entire issue being a false flag with one mission: restrict the free-flow of information on the internet.