Mammon over at Why ruin a good story with the truth? referred me to a post with a few more details on this story, thanks to WorldNetDaily.
LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER
Will bill give Obama control of Internet?
Proposed new powers called 'drastic federal intervention'
By Drew Zahn
First, the White House, through the national cybersecurity advisor, shall have the authority to disconnect "critical infrastructure" networks from the Internet – including private citizens' banks and health records, if Rockefeller's examples are accurate – if they are found to be at risk of cyber attack. The working copy of the bill, however, does not define what constitutes a cybersecurity emergency, and apparently leaves the question to the discretion of the president.
Second, the bill establishes the Department of Commerce as "the clearinghouse of cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information," including the monitoring of private information networks deemed a part of the "critical infrastructure."
Third, the legislation proposes implementation of a professional licensing program for certifying who can serve as a cybersecurity professional.
And while the critics concede the need for increased security, they object to what is perceived as a dangerous and intrusive expansion of government power.
A pair of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate would grant the White House sweeping new powers to access private online data, regulate the cybersecurity industry and even shut down Internet traffic during a declared "cyber emergency."
Senate bills No. 773 and 778, introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., are both part of what's being called the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, which would create a new Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, reportable directly to the president and charged with defending the country from cyber attack.
A working draft of the legislation obtained by an Internet privacy group also spells out plans to grant the Secretary of Commerce access to all privately owned information networks deemed to be critical to the nation's in frastructure" without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access."
Privacy advocates and Internet experts have been quick to sound the alarm over the act's broadly drawn government powers.
"The cybersecurity threat is real," says Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, which obtained the draft of S.773, "but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."
"The whole thing smells bad to me," writes Larry Seltzer in eWeek, an Internet and print news source on technology issues. "I don't like the chances of the government improving this situation by taking it over generally, and I definitely don't like the idea of politicizing this authority by putting it in the direct control of the president."
On Facebook, MySpace? Obama's got your e-mail
White House spammer-in-chief wants contractor to track critics
By Chelsea Schilling
The White House is hiring a contractor to harvest information about Americans from its pages on social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
The National Legal and Policy Center, or NLPC, revealed the White House New Media team is seeking to hire a technology vendor to collect data such as comments, tag lines, e-mail, audio and video from any place where the White House "maintains a presence" – for a period of up to eight years.
"The contractor shall provide the necessary services to capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP (Executive Office of the President) on publicly-accessible web sites, along with information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP offices under PRA (Presidential Records Act) maintains a presence," the posting states.