Now that Senate Republicans have killed Obama’s cybersecurity legislation, there is a good chance the president will sign an unconstitutional executive order implementing provisions of the failed legislation.
“Cybersecurity is dead for this Congress,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid following the move.
Republicans blocked the legislation in August and again on Wednesday, saying it would lead to further business regulation. The final vote was 51-47, short of the 60 votes required under Senate rules to bring the bill up for passage.
Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the legislation in February. The bill proposed “voluntary” cybersecurity standards set by the Department of Homeland Security for companies that operate infrastructure considered vital to U.S. national security. It also set standards for companies and the government to share information on cyber threats.
The bill’s defeat paves the way for an executive order. “An executive order is one of a number of measures we’re considering as we look to implement the President’s direction to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyberthreats,” White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in September.
“We’ve spent months going over the various faults in the bill – and of the faults in the other proposed Cybersecurity bills,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation said following the vote against cloture in the Senate. “We were particularly concerned because the Cybersecurity Act included overly vague definitions for key terms like ‘cybersecurity threat,’ ‘cybersecurity threat indicator,’ and even ‘countermeasures.’”
The failed legislation would have allowed companies to spy on users and share their personal information with the government. As a result of this public-private partnership – defined as corporatism or fascism – surveillance would be outsourced to private companies not beholden to the Fourth Amendment. Companies would have the authority without warrants or judicial process to modify, block, or disrupt internet traffic they and the government believe pose vaguely defined cyber security threats.
In his farewell speech to Congress last night, retiring Rep. Ron Paul stressed the need for a free and open internet without government intervention. “The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda.
If Obama signs an executive order and imposes so-called cybersecurity regulation, the ability of the government to impede the free flow of information will undoubtedly be enhanced. As Infowars.com has noted on numerous occasions, critical infrastructure in the United States is not part of the public internet and not threatened by hackers. It has been used repeatedly over the last few years to condition the public to believe that the government needs to regulate the internet.