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US Plans Cyber Security Army, Former Cyber Security Head Resigned Due to NSA Takeover

On February 4th of this year, the House paseed H.R.4061, the “Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009” which effectively sets up funding for a Cyber Security research Army inside and outside of government that will construct a blueprint for how to track and trace everyone on the internet.

From the bill summary at Opencongress.org, among other things, the bill “…provides for the award of computer and network security research grants by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the research areas of social and behavioral factors, including human-computer interactions, and identity management.”

Its probably self-evident but if you’re not sure what Identity management is, take a look at Wikipedia. It starts to become even more clear why Microsoft’s Craig Mundie recently proposed requiring ‘drivers licenses’ for the Internet at a panel discussion for internet security last year.

So the government is moving forward with an internet takeover under the guise that private entities will not be able to sufficiently manage their own security and that cyber security management needs to be centralized into the hands of government– requiring the identity authentication of everyone who even as much as accesses the web. This kind of consolidation of power over the Internet is a direct threat to Internet freedom.

According to the former head of cyber security, Rod Beckstrom, the consolidation of power over the Internet goes far beyond H.R. 4061. Beckstrom resigned after he realized that the NSA was usurping power over his department, and said the NSA consolidation of power over the management of the Internet posses “threats to our democratic processes”:

Cyber-security chief resigns in protest, Calls consolidation of power in National Security Agency ‘bad strategy’ 3-12-09, Washington Times

The official in charge of coordinating the U.S. government’s cyber-security operations has quit, saying the expanding control of the National Security Agency over the nation’s computer security efforts poses “threats to our democratic processes.”

“Even from a security standpoint, it is unwise to hand over the security of all government networks to a single organization,” said Rod A. Beckstrom, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) when speaking to United Press International.

“If our Founding Fathers were taking part in this debate [about the future organization of the government’s cyber-security activities], there is no doubt in my mind they would support a separation of security powers among different [government] organizations, in line with their commitment to checks and balances,” he said.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week, Mr. Beckstrom said the NSA “dominates most national cyber efforts” and “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions and the proposed move” of the NCSC to an NSA facility at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.

“I believe this is a bad strategy on multiple grounds,” Mr. Beckstrom wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by UPI. “The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization.”

…”He came from a very different background” than most federal officials, said Miss Herrera-Flanigan of Mr. Beckstrom, who was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author before joining the department.

…Mr. Beckstrom said the center he ran, set up to oversee and coordinate all federal government cyber security activity, “has a role which is much coveted by others in government, so there were natural tensions.”

Also in the works is the “Cybersecurity Act of 2009” which would be the enforcement arm of the blueprint that H.R. 4061 is developing. This bill would also allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network.”

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One Response

  1. […] US Plans Cyber Security Army, Former Cyber Security Head Resigned Due to NSA Takeover […]

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