Joe Lieberman proposes a bill that will give Feds to take over civilian networks

Must protect the series of tubes from terrorists!

Joe Lieberman wants to give the federal government the power to take over civilian networks’ security, if there’s an “imminent cyber threat.” It’s part of a draft bill, co-sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Susan Collins, that provides the Department of Homeland Security broad authority to ensure that “critical infrastructure” stays up and running in the face of a looming hack attack.

Fuck Joe Lieberman.

Hello, all you happy taxpayers.


While my initial reaction is ‘fuck this’, what if there is a severe crisis where financial, utility (water, nuclear, gas) or emergency services are compromised? What powers should the government have, or should they have none?

According to the article, scarier bills have already been introduced:

The Lieberman/Collins bill is hardly the the most extreme cybersecurity proposal that’s circulated on Capitol Hill in recent years. That dubious distinction belongs to a bill from Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe that empowered the feds to “order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security.”

How would it even work? Strange.

It seems unnecessary. What, would terrorists take over the electrical grid and then the Feds would need the power to take it back?? What private company would refuse to cooperate with the Feds to keep infrastructure running?? I don’t see the scenarios they are.

I’m sure Glenn Beck will answer that soon.

I think the issue is more - say - what happens if some city’s private rail, power, telco etc systems are the victims of large-scale cyber attack which the company is unable to stop, even with a bit of federal help? The federal govt. has a large number of tools up it’s sleeve and these may only be deployed into situations the govt feels it can control. Thus, I can see this making a lot of sense.

Factor in cloud computing and how critical every-day services out on the cloud are becoming and I can see a time when political or technical disruption in, say, Hong Kong could result in significant challenges for Joe American.

If you and thousands of others can no longer do business because of X disruption might you not want the govt to sort it out?