Tyranny From All Sides

Editor’s Note:  As CYBERCOM goes online in full force to patrol the minds and networks of Internet users, as detailed by the article below, unmanned drones plan to cover the skies of the U.S. looking for whomever they deem to be the insurgent of the week.  It is clear that we are under assault by a military behemoth completely out of control.  To the extent that our opinion matters to leaders of the free world, they must be told that this co-opting of American might to be turned into offensive weapons (especially against their own citizens) is the hallmark of tyranny. 

New government entity to take control over military and civilian networks

by Winston 
With little fanfare, the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) has officially begun operation this week.  The entity is a collection of personnel from the National Security Agency (NSA), Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and policy makers (read that politicians).  The stated purpose is to protect the vital interests of the United States in relation to the Internet.  The entity is not just defensive in nature but can also engage in preemptive “strikes” intended to disrupt threats.  Because this was an internal reorganization within the Department of Defense, the creation of CYBERCOM did not require congressional approval.
Even though the primary purpose of CYBERCOM is to protect government and military networks, there is incredible pressure to extend that “protection” to civilian and business networks as well.  In fact, the second highest official at the Pentagon, William Lynn III – Deputy Secretary of Defense, recently announced that the Department of Defense might start a protective program for civilian networks.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated the same thing in June 2009.
Policies are being finalized that will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to request help from CYBERCOM to  protect government and civilians networks.  Unfortunately there isn’t any clarity on what the criteria would be to initiate a request for help.  An official at CYBERCOM stated: “From our perspective the threshold is really easy: it’s when we get a request from DHS,” the official noted. “What’s their threshold? I couldn’t tell you what their threshold is.”
On the surface this may sound benign, but it is actually quite insidious.  The NSA is completing work on threat monitoring systems called EINSTEIN 2 and EINSTEIN 3.  According to declassified documents, the stated purposes of these two systems are as follows:
DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is deploying, as part of its EINSTEIN 2 activities, signature-based sensors capable of inspecting Internet traffic entering Federal systems for unauthorized accesses and malicious content. The EINSTEIN 2 capability enables analysis of network flow information to identify potential malicious activity while conducting automatic full packet inspection of traffic entering or exiting U.S. Government networks for malicious activity using signature-based intrusion detection technology…. EINSTEIN 2 is capable of alerting US-CERT in real time to the presence of malicious or potentially harmful activity in federal network traffic and provides correlation and visualization of the derived data….
The EINSTEIN 3 system will also support enhanced information sharing by US-CERT with Federal Departments and Agencies by giving DHS the ability to automate alerting of detected network intrusion attempts and, when deemed necessary by DHS, to send alerts that do not contain the content of communications to the National Security Agency (NSA) so that DHS efforts may be supported by NSA exercising its lawfully authorized missions.
Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn stated that private companies who operate critical infrastructure (electrical grid, telecommunication networks, Internet service providers, the banking and financial industry, etc) should install EINSTEIN monitoring agents or else they will face the “wild, wild west of the Internet”.  He went on to state that failing to protect these critical infrastructures  ”could lead to physical damage and economic disruption on a massive scale.”
In other words:
  • Private companies are not capable of protecting their own networks
  • The government is the only one who is capable of protecting the infrastructure
  • Disaster will strike unless government intercedes to protect us

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