New “cybersecurity” legislation major threat to free speech

Posted on April 3rd, 2009 Dan

Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) – The end of the free Internet, if enacted.

Yet another in an unrelenting series of  legislative attacks on liberty, this bill threatens to usurp ICANN and private domain registrars’ control of DNS (Domain Naming System) in the US.  DNS is the system that maps IP addresses (eg. against names like


(a) IN GENERAL.—Within 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information shall develop a strategy to implement a secure domain name addressing system. The Assistant Secretary shall publish notice of the system requirements in the Federal Register together with an implementation schedule for Federal agencies and information systems or networks designated by the President, or the President’s designee, as critical infrastructure information systems or networks.

b) COMPLIANCE REQUIRED.—The President shall ensure that each Federal agency and each such system or network implements the secure domain name addressing system in accordance with the schedule published by the Assistant Secretary.

If the feds take control of DNS, they can set their own terms of service and force all hosts onto subdomains, deciding who can and can’t have a web site, blog, email or IM server, etc.  But one thing controlling the DNS will not do is protect networks against hackers.  Almost any type of network connection (except DNS itself) can be made by IP address, bypassing DNS entirely.

I wonder who the president’s “designee” will be.  Perhaps Senator Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens?

If  these incompetent boobs can’t even secure their own networks now, what makes them think they can do a better job than private industry?  I haven’t been hacked since about ’97 when I ditched Windows NT.  I don’t need their help to secure my DNS servers.  Hey feds- If you want secure systems, start by ditching Windows.  If you can’t even get that thru your heads, how do you expect to take over DNS for the entire friggin Internet?  Who are you going to award the no-bid contract to, Microsoft?

This is about one thing: eliminating the networks that independent citizens use to inform each other and exercise free political speech.  They can’t stand the fact that you have access to real journalism on the web instead of being spoon-fed CNNBCBS propagada on TV.


The President—
. . .
(2) may 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
. . .
(6) may order the disconnection of any Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security

So the president or his designee can simply shut down “critical infrastructure” every time they freak out and decide something is an emergency?  What exactly is critical infrastructure?



The  term ‘‘Federal government and United States critical infrastructure in formation systems and networks’’ includes—

(B) State, local, and nongovernmental information systems and networks in the United States designated by the President as critical infrastructure information systems and networks.

Its whatever they say it is.  No measures, standards, or criteria.

This is not a misguided effort to protect our network infrastructure.  Its a deliberate attack on free speech, and the feds know exactly what they’re doing. According to Reuters, the previous head of the National Cyber Security Center Rod Beckstrom resigned in protest of the over-reaching role the NSA is playing in cyber security.

What is the first objective of a military when attacking any enemy?  Shut down their communications. We are the enemy and this is an attack on the ability of free individuals to communicate with each other.  Please write your congress critters immediately.  If you don’t care about politics, at least think of your 4chan and bittorrent downloads!


82 Responses to “New “cybersecurity” legislation major threat to free speech”

  1. That’s pretty worrying. Wonder how long it will be before we’re not allowed to say anything bad about politicians online.

  2. Charles Not In Charge

    What’s to stop us from creating an alternet?

    I’m just saying…

  3. well, on the existing wires, there is one big reason we can not easily do that: internet is packetized switched data, all of which can be filtered.

    one can create ad hoc virtual encrypted networks inside those packets, but ultimately which hosts and ISPs have their traffic allowed or blocked is up to the people on the major backbones. the physical infastructure of the net is not terribly de-centralized. the content and hosts are, but not the network itself.

    i’ve been interested in creating a totally distributed routing protocol that uses radio transcievers such as wi-fi routers, instead of phone/cable lines.