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Cybersecurity bill gives executive branch new powers over the internet

By J. DeVoy

From The Hill:

The president would have the power to safeguard essential federal and private Web resources under draft Senate cybersecurity legislation.

According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack.

The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans to ensure key federal or private services did not go offline during a cyberattack of unprecedented scope, the aide said. 

Despite the predictable outcry from libertarians (SOSHULISM!), this seems like a reasonable proposal.  Without such plans, the risk of a cyber-Katrina seem markedly higher.  Granted, the plan may not work, but at least one exists if there’s ever a need for it.

In reality, this is a specific response to a heightened threat by China.  The White House has been a target of its internet attacks, as was Google.  For readers who have full security software suites on their computers, viewing the frequency and number of pings your network ports have receive from China may be shocking.  But, simultaneously, it may be foolish to assume our government doesn’t do the same thing.

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