It doesn’t take much to imagine the consequences of a successful cyber attack. In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home. Taking down vital banking systems could trigger a financial crisis. The lack of clean water or functioning hospitals could spark a public health emergency. And as we’ve seen in past blackouts, the loss of electricity can bring businesses, cities and entire regions to a standstill.
This is the future we have to avoid. That’s why my administration has made cybersecurity a priority, including proposing legislation to strengthen our nation’s digital defenses. It’s why Congress must pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.
President Barack Obama speaking about cybersecurity in an op-ed and declaring his support for the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
The bill would provide legal immunity and a structured system for private companies and U.S. intelligence agencies to share information about national cyber threats.
But a range of cybersecurity experts agree that it in its current form, the bill won’t do much to protect the U.S. from the doomsday scenarios described as potential risks by the president in his op-ed and previously by topdefense and intelligenceofficials.
The EFF highlights a portion of the bill that the group says “specifically authorizes companies to use cybersecurity as an excuse for engaging in nearly unlimited monioring of user data,” as well as the ability for Internet service providers (ISPs) to “block privacy-protective technologies like Tor.”
The Senate is expected to hold a vote on the bill in the coming days. The House has already passed alternate cybersecurity legislation, known as CISPA, which was criticized by advocacy groups for having the potential to infringe on Web users’ privacy and civil liberties. Both the Senate and the House have to pass the same bill and the president must sign it in order for it to become law.
Or, I don’t know Mr. President, you could maybe tone down the bombing campaigns and invasions you’ve been enjoying so much. Then perhaps less people would want to cripple american cities.
What he said.
60 Notes/ Hide
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