DHS: Obama Cyber Security Executive Order "Close To Completion"

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on September 19, 2012 and said that a cyber security executive order is "close to completion" that will grant the president broad and sweeping powers over the internet.

Napolitano said, “DHS is the Federal government’s lead agency for securing civilian government computer systems and works with our industry and Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners to secure critical infrastructure and information systems."

Joe Wolverton, II, at the New American, rightly points out the problem with the federal government's exercising an authority they are not specifically given in the Constitution.

Precisely which clause in the Constitution grants to the president specifically or the executive branch (of which DHS is a part) generally authority to exercise any sort of oversight of such matters was not cited by Secretary Napolitano.

Naturally, a document written 225 years ago would not include a reference to cyber security, but the principles of enumerated powers and limited government apply to any program or project of the federal government. According to the contract that created the three branches of the federal government, none of those departments may do anything unless specifically granted that authority in the Constitution.

This is a principle of constitutional interpretation often overlooked. Those promoting a larger government with increasing influence on the lives of private citizens commonly defend government growth by insisting that “nothing in the Constitution forbids us from doing” whatever federal program they are advocating.

Had I been living at the time, I would have sided with the anti-Federalists. However, Wolverton goes on to point out that James Madison wrote in The Federalist, No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

The reason this is all taking shape into an executive order is because the Congress shot down the overreaching powers of the federal government in the cyber security bill earlier this year. They did so with good reason. Not only was it a stealth bill to introduce more gun control, but back in July it was reported that,

The updated version of the bill reflects changes to the provision to assign the Department of Homeland Security the role of creating mandatory cyber security standards for infrastructure industries.

The newer version of the bill does not include language for “mandatory, regulatory sections,” but still requires a creation of industry best practice standards for the purposes of protecting critical infrastructure, but rather than making the adoption of those standards mandatory, the owners of the critical infrastructure adopt “voluntary” standards. The bill offers incentives to adopt those standards, such as liability protection, and access to threat information.

Some contend that the revisions are not ideal, however, as it gives the government the power to deny threat information to critical infrastructure owners who choose not to comply with the voluntary standards. Likewise, the incentives are too insignificant to fully incentivize any company to adopt the standards.

My fellow Americans, do we really want the federal government to have this kind of power? Really? I know some will say "yes, we need this," but before you move too fast, think about it. We're talking about the incompetent Department of Homeland Security here, under the direction of the President of the United States.

while the current President tried to instill fear in the American people if such legislation did not pass, just like he did with the stimulus and auto bailouts (look where that got us), he tried to do so in a Wall Street Journal piece, in which he wrote,

It doesn't take much to imagine the consequences of a successful cyber attack. In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home. Taking down vital banking systems could trigger a financial crisis. The lack of clean water or functioning hospitals could spark a public health emergency. And as we've seen in past blackouts, the loss of electricity can bring businesses, cities and entire regions to a standstill.

This is the future we have to avoid. That's why my administration has made cyber security a priority, including proposing legislation to strengthen our nation's digital defenses. It's why Congress must pass comprehensive cyber security legislation.

We all know what needs to happen. We need to make it easier for the government to share threat information so critical-infrastructure companies are better prepared. We need to make it easier for these companies—with reasonable liability protection—to share data and information with government when they're attacked. And we need to make it easier for government, if asked, to help these companies prevent and recover from attacks.

While the executive order will more than likely start off with standards and obligations that will be deemed as voluntary, there is no doubt that government will not be satisfied with that. They want the power to punish companies that will violate the EO. Secretary Napolitano said, “DHS leverages the skills and resources of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and ICE, who investigate cyber criminals and work with the Department of Justice, which prosecutes them."

That's correct. Those agencies fall under the executive branch which are law enforcement agencies. Therefore, what good does a law do or an executive order for that matter if it is not enforceable, but only a suggestion? Frankly nothing. So there is cause for concern here.

Eventually when you grant power to government, they will always go in the direction of tyranny. This is why they must be called back to the Constitution. Once they are directed there, then this business about executive orders and over reaching power of the federal government is not even a subject for discussion.

Below is the draft of the cyber security executive order:

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  • Rwolf

    Is CISPA A Government Trojan Horse?

    Government Can Use CISPA Internet Spying To Control and Forfeit
    Businesses—Seize Your Property:

    The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act if passed by Congress would
    allow U.S. Spy and other government agencies to share Americans’ confidential
    Internet and other information with Government Certified Self Protected Cyber
    Entities, Certified Cyber Entity Employees and Elements in both government and
    private sectors to help protect them—against Cyber threats.

    would also allow Government agencies, police and government quasi/contractors
    (WITHOUT WARRANTS) OR LIABILITY to take out of context—any innocent hastily
    written email, fax or other Internet activity to allege a crime or violation
    was committed to cause a person’s arrest, assess fines or civilly forfeit a
    business or person’s property.

    can use CISPA to (certify any Self Protected Cyber Entity or their employee—to
    spy on their employers and clients: (CIVIL Asset Forfeiture Incentive). U.S.
    Government is not prohibited from paying any Government Certified Cyber Self
    Protected Entity or Employee; or Element part of government forfeited assets or
    other compensation that result from the aforementioned providing U.S.
    Government a corporation’s or clients’ private/confidential information—that
    (now) require a warrant or court order. Federal. Government currently contracts
    on a fee/commission-sharing basis with Self Protected Cyber Entities, Elements
    and Contractors that have security clearances to participate in facilitating
    arrests and Government asset forfeitures. It is expected U.S. Government,
    police and private contractors’—Civil Asset Forfeiture of Americans’ property
    will greatly escalate if CISPA is passed allowing Government certified private
    cyber entities and their employees—No Warrant Searches of persons’ and
    Businesses’ confidential Internet Information—that can be handed over to the
    government e.g. private emails, faxes, phone and transmitted files for
    investigation, prosecution and asset forfeiture—circumventing the Fourth

    Internet Spying: Since CISPA was passed by the House, two additional
    cyber-security bills have been created in the Senate called, “The Cyber
    Security Act of 2012” and “SECURE IT Act”. Both bills appear unconstitutional;
    appear designed to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and public Freedom of
    Information Requests. The Cyber Security Act of 2012 formally known as S. 2105
    was created by Senate Democrats, Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins. Similar to
    CISPA, the Cyber security Act of 2012 would abolish legal walls that stop
    Federal government and private companies sharing information. The SECURE IT
    ACT: S.2151 was introduced by Senate Republicans on March 1st 2012: would (require)
    federal contractors to alert government about any cyber threats, forcing such
    communications between government regulators and corporations. The SECURE IT
    Act authorizes sharing of persons’ private Internet information (without a
    warrant) going beyond what is necessary to report a believed cyber threat.
    SECURE It Act fails to create a regulatory system at the Federal level to
    oversee cyber-security threats opening the door for persons’ and businesses’
    confidential information to be misused and misappropriated by government
    agencies and private sector government certified cyber entities.

    CISPA: Government should be prohibited from using so-call (Certified Self
    Protected Cyber Entities, their Employees) and Elements to circumvent the
    Fourth Amendment; escape Public Freedom of Information Requests. CORRUPTED:
    Government Certified Self Protected Cyber Entities and Employees, U.S.
    Government Agencies, Contractors and Police too easily may use someone’s
    confidential Internet Information, e.g. transmitted files and private emails
    collected (without warrants) to extort Americans, corporations, politicians;
    for compensation target a businesses’ competitor; or sell private information
    gleaned from warrant-less Internet Surveillance.

    CISPA is passed allowing (NO Warrant) private self-protected cyber entity
    spying, some Internet writers and political activists might be dead-meat under
    NDAA. Americans” who write on the Internet or verbally express an opinion
    against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners—support causes
    contrary to the U.S. Government’s position may under The Defense Authorization
    Act of 2012—be deemed by U.S. Government (someone likely to engage in, support
    or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security)— or (Belligerent) to
    order an American writer or activist’s indefinite prison detention.

  • cmdorsey

    The timing is very curious. My guess is it's their plan to make sure this piece of crap wins the election by tampering with votes that are mostly done by computer now. Of course this isn't their only reason for this. I want them all gone. It's been a VERY LONG 5 YEARS of looking at this SOB. I WILL not listen to his voice on TV. My channel changes or I push mute and I will not look at him. EVIL is his middle name, along with HUSSEIN. Why in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ this country voted for anyone with the name HUSSEIN is BEYOND me. He has been groomed as an islamic plant to infiltrate the govt., to finish off the USA because they didn't quite get the job done on 9/11. I knew what he was before he was nominated. I sounded alarms all over the place but of course, they called me kooky. I've known what his plans were. Executive Orders up the butt. Now, if he doesn't call for martial law, they'll fix the elections by this EO taking over the internet. Well, HUSSEIN, if you are reading this...... I hate your frickin guts. And I am NOT a hateful person, ever. But I've never felt so much hate in my heart as I do for you, HUSSEIN. Go to hell

  • dntmkmecomoverther

    Well, if our government is too stupid to know which law this 'breaks' they only have to look at the 1st Amendment. If they 'take down' or 'take over' the main conduit of expression of opinion (which currently is the internet) then they have abridged/corrupted my 1st Amendment rights. It would be no different than taking over a radio station, newspaper or any other source of news/opinion. How stupid do they think we are? How stupid are we PROVING that we are by even THINKING of voting for this scumbag?

  • Ranchman

    Okay, where's the draft of the order? My browser isn't showing it...:(

  • Slarker

    OMG!!! I hope all of those loser Occupy types are aware of this move. What are they going to do when they cannot coordinate their activities via the Internet.

  • fliteking

    "DHS: Obama Cyber Security Executive Order “Close To Completion”

    Wow, that was fast, almost like they had the policies and software 'waiting in the wings'.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erik-Osbun/100001215333702 Erik Osbun

    An executive order is not law. If an executive order is contrary to constitutional law, impeach the president.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Peacock/100001241183282 David Peacock

    sign you prick;;;;;;;;;;;;you will never see 2014; a muslim has you in his sight

    • wizardkar

      Anyone in public service needs to do it for FREE! See how many DEMS run when you tell them they are making 50k a year with no benefits! They will all leave..the tea party reps will stay. We are is terrible and scary times. Obama lies more and more and we need a collective prayer happening daily, that he is out and gone from our UNITED STATES.. Take your ego and ruinous nature to Kenya where you belong. See obama's 2016 movie, it is out now! Making more money than the liberals Michael moore's movie!!

  • Susane

    Please get him OUT!!!!!

  • Ltjg

    Broad and sweeping powers over the internet given to the President? We all know that the Newspapers and Media are his lapdogs. The only way intelligent people can research the truth is through the internet. This only furthers his control of information that we seek. Under this type of control we are only told what he wants us to know. We will need "Radio Free America" in much the same way Europe needed "Radio Free Europe".

  • J J

    Obama's power grab needs to stop now. This is the kind of article that just scares me to death and cannot be allowed to happen. I can't imagine another 4 years of Obama because he has already shown his disdain for the Constitution, the will of the people, the borders, the flag, the military, etc. My thought is that in the next 4 years he will sign some executive order in the wee hours of the morning making him the Supreme Leader and we will have no America left. Obama is really a very scary man!!!

    Tell me again why Obama deserves another 4 years.

    • fliteking

      Tell me again why so many Americans want to re-elect a President that changed his name from Barry to Barrack.

  • Robertz

    It is just a SHORT matter of time now folks before we have the police state DHS wants. The UN passed the small arms treaty a day ago. Now we wait to see if the senate sells us out. CALL YOUR senator NOW!