Monday, June 28, 2010

When cybers attack

Congress wants to hand over an internet kill switch to the executive branch. 

'Kill Switch' is shorthand for 'create a new bureaucracy for nebulous but fine-sounding reasons, staffed by a few well-meaning folks, a horde of drones, run by political appointees, whose only reason to exist is to wrap yet one more aspect of life in a slimy mess of shokushu goukan.

The idea is so full of suck only a politician or a second lieutenant would come up with it.

  • What is a cyber attack? No one really knows.
  • Orgs are under a constant bombardment of what might be called cyber attack right now. All the time. Spam, malware .. it's a constant background hum on the internet. If we didn't know how to handle this we'd be out of business.
  • Email, Twitter, blogs, IM - the internet is how we communicate in an emergency.  Take away the net and we can't talk to each other.  And it's not as if the governemnt has a good record for reacting well in a crisis: the only effective response to 9/11 came from civilians, using their own sources for intel, their own brains and initative to form an action plan, which worked.
  • If the internet goes down companies are out of business. Our distributed sites can't talk to ERP, we can't talk to customers, customers can't talk to us.  Talking thousands of dollars for a few minutes of downtime.  We can't ship, we can't get inventory, can't do nothin.

Forget the talk of censorship and shutting down Rush Limbaugh - that's just the drones taking counsel of their fears.  Killing the internet to halt an attack is the last resource of the incompetent: a shot aimed directly at what keeps America chuging along.

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