From my undulating perch on an elliptical machine last night, I saw that CNN was broadcasting a strange roundtable event called “cyber.shockwave”—they occasionally displayed a subhead saying something like “you were warned.”
It was a group of (mostly) former Bush Administration officials sitting around making their pitch that we should be frightened about yet another menace and that our salvation is to run to the arms of government (especially if it’s controlled by their party). The CNN airing of it was illustration of how politics and public policy are collapsing together with entertainment—reality TV, specifically. The government “experts” were actors in a play dressed up as a newscast.
This post at “Crabbyolbastard Ruminates” captures my sense of what was going on. (“I see that we as a country are being led by blithering Luddites . . .”) As reported by Crabbyol’, the ideas they discussed included: pulling the plug on the Internet, pulling the plug on the cell phone networks, and nationalizing the telco and power companies.
D33PT00T tweets, cleverly, “ok my phn doesn’t work & Internet doesn’t work – ths guys R planning 2 run arnd w/ bullhorns ‘all is well remain calm!’”
Maybe it’s coincidence that Republicans dominated the scene. It was an event put together by the “Bipartisan Policy Center.” But that just goes to show that there is bipartisan agreement on one thing in Washington, D.C.: The government should control more of the society.
The U.S. federal government is not where the action is on “cybersecurity.” It is the responsibility of coders, device manufacturers, network operators, data holders, and ordinary computer users. The CNN broadcast of this event mislead viewers into thinking that cybersecurity is the government’s responsibility and that the government will lead any response to security failures.
Heaven help us if that becomes the reality.