Billion dollar cybersecurity industry at the forefront of ‘Top Secret America’ complex
Wednesday, Jul 21st, 2010
An increasing clamour to restrict and control the internet on behalf of the government, the Pentagon, the intelligence community and their private corporate arms, could result in a staged cyber attack being used as justification.
Over recent months we have seen a great increase in media coverage of inflated fears over a possible “electronic Pearl Harbor” event, with reports claiming that the U.S. could be “felled within 15 minutes”.
Vastly over-hyped (and in some cases completely asinine) claims that the power grids and other key infrastructure such as rail networks and water sources are wired up to the public internet have permeated such coverage.
Threats against computer networks in the United States are grossly exaggerated. Dire reports issued by the Defense Science Board and the Center for Strategic and International Studies “are usually richer in vivid metaphor — with fears of ‘digital Pearl Harbors’ and ‘cyber-Katrinas’ — than in factual foundation,” writes Evgeny Morozov, a respected researcher and blogger who writes on the political effects of the internet.
Morozov notes that much of the data on the supposed cyber threat “are gathered by ultra-secretive government agencies — which need to justify their own existence — and cyber-security companies — which derive commercial benefits from popular anxiety.”
When the Cybersecurity Act was introduced by Senator John Rockefeller last year, he made similar claims about the threat of cyber attacks, adding “Would it have been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?”.
Rockefeller’s legislation gives the president the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.” The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president, according to a Mother Jones report.
Provisions in the bill would allow the federal government, via the DHS and the NSA, to tap into any digital aspect of every citizen’s information without a warrant. Banking, business and medical records would be wide open to inspection, as well as personal instant message and e mail communications – all in the name of heading off cyber attacks on the nation.
Enhancements of such provisions are contained in the more recent “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act”, which is being pushed hard by Senator Joe Lieberman. The bill would hand absolute power to the federal government to close down networks, and block incoming Internet traffic from certain countries under a declared national emergency.
An accompanying cybersecurity control grid would only create greater risk according to experts who note that it would essentially “establish a path for the bad guys to skip down.” Other countries, such as Australia and the UK are following suit.
The program dovetails with the Pentagon’s newly created Cyber Command, headed by Keith B Alexander, the acting head of the NSA and the man behind the massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications since at least 2001. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE