Hacking Away at Privacy; Computer-Security Bill Is a Gift from Big Brother
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
When people look to government for answers in times of crisis, the politicians are happy to oblige, usually with wrong answers. The terrorist attack in Boston has everybody on edge, fearing further assaults - perhaps even to America's online infrastructure. The more credible threat is to the liberty of Americans.
Freedom took a hit Monday as the House voted 288 to 127 to adopt the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. The act is meant to protect the public from assaults to the computer infrastructure from hackers in China, North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.
To prevent this, the act allows private companies and the federal government to share information about threats. The bill's sponsor, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, describes the bill as voluntary between corporations and the government. This comes from the same government that says paying your income tax is voluntary.
The fundamental problem with corporations turning to the government for help is that the federal government is utterly clueless about the Internet and what makes it work. The group known as Anonymous has successfully hacked the State Department, the Federal Reserve and the Commerce Department. Another group of overactive, computer-savvy teenagers took down OnGuardOnline.gov, a collaborative effort of 14 federal agencies dedicated to online security.
There's a reason why. Technology marches forward relentlessly, and bureaucracies often move hardly at all. Unlike their private-sector counterparts, career civil servants have no incentive to learn the latest techniques or to stay as late as needed until they solve a problem. …