President Barack Obama announced during his State of the Union that he has signed an executive order to ensure national security against possible cyber attacks. According to Obama, the United States has undergone several rounds of attacks directed to private companies and public infrastructure, declared in 2009 as “strategic assets” whose protection is a “national priority”.
“The United States must also address the real and growing threat of cyber attacks,” said the president during his speech. “We know that hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails. We know that foreign companies subtract our secrets. And our enemies seek the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our systems air traffic control, ” Obama fear-mongered in Congress.
Several U.S. officials claimed in recent months that their systems and facilities have suffered cyber attacks and that any of them could become “the next Pearl Harbor” in the words of then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The executive order identified “critical infrastructure” such as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital that its incapacitation or destruction could have a debilitating impact on national security, economic, health, or a combination of these “.
In response, the executive order includes measures to clarify the relationships of different sectors of the federal government, which supposedly would ensure and improve the security of infrastructure, facilitate the exchange of information between authorities and companies and create a plan that identifies the infrastructure that is more vulnerable in the event of an attack.
In simple words, the executive order signed by Obama codified the nationalization of all relevant infrastructure which will now be under the control of the Executive. It also legitimizes, at least in the eyes of the federal government, the exchange of private information from internet users, which the government has gathered for years. This will enable the Feds to avoid liability in the event an individual or a company denounces unwarranted government spying.
U.S. fears the consequences of a possible attack on its transmission system or electricity and has admitted they already have evidence that “intruders have gained access to control systems” of various infrastructures. A few weeks ago, several media outlets claimed having fought against the intrusion of Chinese hackers. No one has independently confirmed any of the these claims.
The Obama administration argues that any such attacks would be treated as an “act of war”. The executive order signed Tuesday by the President establishes coordination of various sectors of government, among them, defense, homeland security and anti-terror, but does not specify the methods of response to potential threats. It doesn’t explain how the government will go about gathering information from private companies or individuals.
As Obama said, the new “cyber defenses” will increase the exchange of information and develop standards “to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.” However, the president also urged Congress to pass legislation that goes even further: “They must also act, passing laws that give our government a greater ability to protect our networks and deter attacks.”
The Government believes that ensuring safety is a shared responsibility between the authorities and companies that often manage internet infrastructure, the networks accessed by citizens, the telephone network, electricity and water supply. To do this, the order provides for the creation of a ‘voluntary program’ in which private companies and government share information about vulnerabilities in their systems and possible threats, so that they can better protect themselves. Note the term voluntary, because it will be voluntary for now. Later, the government will claim that any measures taken somehow worked to perfection before making compliance mandatory.
The executive order also requires that this information be shared “in an appropriate time” and expands the existing cybersecurity program that enabled government to share data on ‘potential threats’ in real time. This data exchange sparked criticism in the private sector, considering that there were not enough guarantees to provide their data to the Government.
The private sector and everyone else do have reason to be concerned, because the latest executive order will do for the web’s infrastructure what it did to healthcare, industry and the economy: it will turn them all into the hands of the federal government. It is a continuation of the process to fully install a Marxist regime in the United States.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.