The Federal Cyber GrabFriday, August 28, 2009
Our man in cyberliberty, Declan McCullagh, on the Rockefeller bill to get control of the Internet under the guise of a “national emergency.”
They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.
The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.
Another powerful reminder of what your government fears most: you and the power of your ideas, with the ability to inform others. This is the same government, by the way, that can’t get its own cybersecurity straight.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security earned failing marks in an annual computer security report card released Thursday by a congressional oversight committee.
That means the federal agency tasked with principal responsibility for the nation’s cybersecurity has now received a grade of “F” from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform for three straight years–in other words, every year of its young existence.
It’s not alone. Of the 24 departments on the scorecard (click for PDF), seven others, including Energy, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, State, and Defense, also received failing marks for 2005. The scores for both Defense and State had hovered above passing– at D and D+, respectively–in 2004. The overall grade across all government agencies was D+, unchanged from last year.