I just don’t know how I feel about this: I want my freedom and privacy, I don’t want to be blown up or doused with smallpox. I want the Feds, once they latch on to a miscreant, to be able to track them across the system but I don’t want them to latch on to me because I am a writer and do a lot of research on terrorism, the Middle East, and the spectrum of ideology. Life can be very complicated.
- The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users.
The proposal is part of a final version of a report, “The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace,” set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board is preparing the report, and it is intended to create public and private cooperation to regulate and defend the national computer networks, not only from everyday hazards like viruses but also from terrorist attack. Ultimately the report is intended to provide an Internet strategy for the new Department of Homeland Security.
….Stewart Baker, a Washington lawyer who represents some of the nation’s largest Internet providers, said, “Internet service providers are concerned about the privacy implications of this as well as liability,” since providing access to live feeds of network activity could be interpreted as a wiretap or as the “pen register” and “trap and trace” systems used on phones without a judicial order.
….Tiffany Olson, the deputy chief of staff for the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, said yesterday that the proposal, which includes a national network operations center, was still in flux. She said the proposed methods did not necessarily require gathering data that would allow monitoring at an individual user level.
But the need for a large-scale operations center is real, Ms. Olson said, because Internet service providers and security companies and other online companies only have a view of the part of the Internet that is under their control.
“We don’t have anybody that is able to look at the entire picture,” she said. “When something is happening, we don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late.” [NY Times]