Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sew 'Cyberwar' Rhetoric, Reap The NSA's 'Big Brother'

Sean Lawson writes on the "Firewall" Blog:

Today we learned from the Wall Street Journal that the National Security Agency, with the help of defense contractor Raytheon, has been developing a system dubbed 'Perfect Citizen' and designed "to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants."

Disturbingly, a Raytheon email obtained by The Wall Street Journal "stated flatly that "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother." Such comments no doubt contribute to "Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see[ing] Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs."

Revelations about the NSA's Perfect Citizen/Big Brother system come on the heals of an early version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 that would have given the President emergency powers over the Internet.

While a so-called Internet "kill switch" for the President was removed from that bill, it has found it's way back into the more recent Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. In response to concerns about the "kill switch," chief sponsor of the bill, Senator Joseph Lieberman, suggested to CNN's Candy Crowley that the U.S. should follow China's lead and develop the ability to "disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war."

More here.


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