President Obama and some Members of Congress claim we are in an emergency situation and cybersecurity legislation needs to be crafted immediately in order to keep us all safe.
Congress debated cybersecurity legislation that ultimately failed, because the American people spoke out against it and Constitutionally minded politicians stood up for freedom. This is what Congress is supposed to do: debate. Either a bill passes, it doesn’t, or it goes through a good compromise. That is our system of government.
Enter Barack Obama, who is tired of “waiting” for Congress to act in the never-ending state of emergency he claims we are always in (usually, due to some action or inaction that only HE is to blame for).
His latest bypass of Congress is his cybersecurity Executive Order that will put private Internet systems and data under the regulation of the Department of Homeland Security—and possibly, even give the military control of the Internet. But, we’re not quite sure what the EO calls for, because he will not allow us to see it!
Reportedly, Obama signed off on it a month or two ago, and it looks a lot like the legislation that Joe Lieberman tried to get through the Senate. That language failed, because even the Democratic-heavy Senate recognized that this was an unnecessary attempt at putting more government regulations on businesses and also, its provisions threatened the security of our private data.
One of the perks of Obama’s executive power is not only can he go around Congress and impose his will, he can then hide it from the American people by claiming that it is confidential presidential material and is therefore classified—which is exactly what the National Security Agency is saying about this cybersecurity EO.
Obama’s plan will designate the government as the master regulator of every activity you participate in online—whether it’s banking, shopping, playing games, engaging in social media, or posting on a blog—because if they deem what you are doing a “threat” or a “cybersecurity emergency,” they can have the DHS shut you down.
This is simply another power grab, another attack on our free market system.
Obama’s cybersecurity order:
1- Asks industry to “voluntarily” submit cybersecurity threat information to the government…(again, if it is voluntary, give a press conference and ask nicely; don’t create an Executive Order).
2- Claims the data won’t be used for regulatory purposes (but, the entire purpose of this EO is to increase regulations) or against companies (even though the Obama administration has a history of auditing and harassing those who don’t agree with them).
3- Requires the Department of Homeland Security to do privacy assessments on the data they collect…this is not comforting, considering the fact that our government has more leak holes in it than Swiss cheese.
4- Assures us that First Amendment protections will apply to how the government identifies critical infrastructure…so long as this administration, with their disdain for the Constitution, doesn’t re-write or re-interpret the definition of the First Amendment, of course.
5- Tampers with the free market by leaning on companies to do certain things and purchase specific technology demanded by the government, so companies are in compliance with these “voluntary” things requested by the DHS.
6- Calls for a report discussing possible “incentives” and recognition by the government. Again, what will happen to those companies who “voluntarily” participated but weren’t deemed worthy of coronation by the Obama administration? What happens to those companies who refuse to participate?
And, what will happen to the Internet, the security of our systems, and our First Amendment once Barack Obama shoves Big Sis into the technological realm? It will be a huge failure, just like the ridiculous TSA experiments at the airport. It will become more and more difficult to access websites, and you bet that companies are going to pass along the costs of this new regulation to the consumer. And companies like Google and Facebook will be able to monitor your communications and send that information to the government without a warrant.
The White House claims there are no “carrots and sticks” in this EO that will compel businesses to apply—but this is the same administration that told us tall tales about the “benefits” of Obamacare, almost all of which we’ve seen go up in smoke.
Can you really believe anything they say at this point?
So, if there is no reason to comply, why write an EO? And, if there is nothing to be worried about, why craft it in secret?
The 2012 Democratic National Platform states that, “going forward, the President will continue to take executive action to strengthen and update our cyber defenses.”
But, this kind of legislation will likely be ineffective. The Heritage Foundation says, “New cybersecurity regulations created as the result of legislation or an executive order are a poor policy choice because they cannot keep up with the dynamic cyber realm. By the time cybersecurity regulations are written, the power of computers will have doubled or even quadrupled, rendering the regulations obsolete.”
And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that, “An ineffective program would tie businesses in red tape but would do little to deter bad actors. Businesses do not have unlimited capital and human talent to devote to regulatory regimes that are … out of date as soon as they are written.”
Once the government has access to your information, they can do anything they want with it; and Obama (or any other President) can simply continue to pass Executive Orders that make up new regulations and new protocols for the control they already possess.
Another very real concern is that Democrats in Congress wanted to amend the cybersecurity bill to include anti-gun provisions; we do not know yet if Obama included any such language in his EO…but if he wants to, he can.
Obama has repeatedly used his executive power to go around Congress and force his agenda. Apparently he feels he was elected Dictator of the United States, and he will impose his agenda in any way possible, basically ignoring you and me and every person we elect to “represent” us.
But, YOUR INPUT MATTERS. Just this week, the Senate was looking at giving government the power to read your emails without a warrant; the resulting backlash resulted in them adding an amendment to H.R. 2471 that REQUIRES A WARRANT…just as it should be.
Our freedoms can be saved if we work together and put Congress on notice that each and every time they try to take our liberties away, we will fight back.
Tell Congress to start representing the People, and insist they defend our Constitution.