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The Internet Security United States

Former CIA Head Calls for Limiting Access to the Internet 935

GMill writes "Former CIA head George Tenet has called for limiting access to the internet to only those who take security seriously and that the industry should 'lead the way' in restricting access. Somehow I don't think that this is a call to ban Microsoft products from the internet. What exactly does he want?"
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Former CIA Head Calls for Limiting Access to the Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:21PM (#10987971)
    An end to anonymity, and that is something I fully support! No one on the internet should be anonymous! It's just wrong.
    • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:23PM (#10988009) Homepage
      Hey Taco... any chance you'd be so kind as to tell us the IP of the above AC poster?
    • by Class Act Dynamo ( 802223 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:29PM (#10988151) Homepage
      I heartily disagree with you. I think that the internet should be absolutely anonymous. I, Ted Phillips, believe that no one should EVER be identified on the internet.

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:21PM (#10987972) Homepage
    I know I'll probably be in the minority here, but I say: That God. For too long the internet has been a haven for bad people engaging in bad behavior.

    Finally, we can get rid of all those terrorists, child porn mongers, spammers, communists, hate groups, spyware writers, homosexuals, political dissentors, darwinists, gamblers, sex-ed supporters, atheists, blue-staters, teenagers, abortionists, people who confuse decent Americans by engaging in satire and especially those people who question electronic voting. Finally we'll fix the internet and make it safe for all the little children and honest hard-working Americans out there. Heck, we've already got an FCC all set up, we can just put Michael Powell in charge.

    Thank God we live in an age where we can finally bring about the society we as Americans so richly deserve.

    • Just unplug your cable/phone cord, and you've got everything you want!

    • by Wingit ( 98136 )
      Oh, and don't forget those that mention God, free speech or civil rights. Ban them all. MUAHAhahahaha.
    • I can't tell whether or not this is sarcastic. Either way, it's impressive. >8)
    • "homos-xuals","d-rwinists", "s-x-ed", "ab-rtionists" and "h-ck" has designated you as someone incapable of providing the wholesome interface that the NewInternet(tm) needs. Step away from the computer and wait for the relocation experts from Guantanamo to arrive.

      Have a nice day!

    • Finally we'll fix the internet and make it safe for all the little children and honest hard-working Americans out there.

      Brilliant. Bravo, sir!!!

      Here's a few more ....

      Finally we'll fix the copyright laws and make it safe for all the little children and honest hard-working Americans out there.

      Finally we'll fix the democracy and make it safe for all the little children and honest hard-working Americans out there.

      Finally we'll fix the constitution and make it safe for all the little children and honest h

  • Good. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Create a licensing system for computer users. If you can't pass, you can't get on the internet. Period. That should bring up the intelligence level of the place a bit. And pretty much put AOL out of business.
    • Re:Good. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drakaan ( 688386 )
      Yeah, because licensing worked wonders for keeping bad drivers off the highways...oh, wait...
      • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

        Well the *American* driving *tests* have failed miserably but try the German tests on for size.

        Show of hands how many people in the US have failed their driving test? It ain't many. Go to Germany and plenty of people have failed...some more than once.

        It costs serious cash and time to take the training; as such the people value their 'priviledge' as opposed to us Americans who 'expect our right' to be able to drive.

        Oh yeah I love it when a sig actually relates to a topic ;-)
    • And pretty much put AOL out of business.

      Yes because the decisions will be made by tech savvy politicians who can not be bought. They will graciously accept the Linux lobbyists offer of "going dutch" for happy meals and discussing the open source security model over the offers of fat campaign coiffers etc...
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drdanny_orig ( 585847 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:22PM (#10987988)
    Maybe that sort of bone-headed comment is why he's the "former" CIA head.
  • Man... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rorschach1 ( 174480 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:22PM (#10987991) Homepage
    It's going to suck not having any Internet access at the CIA...
  • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:22PM (#10987992)
    Obviously, the power of free speech on the Internet is something for gov'ts to fear. This has been predicted by many.

    This is just the first step in limiting people's free speech rights on the 'net and turning it into a bland, corporate organ, similar to today's TV.
  • by jenkin sear ( 28765 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:22PM (#10988001) Homepage Journal
    What does he really want?

    Umm... free PR from the easily excitable? He's a washed up political hack who needs some press so he can either run for office or get a few more lucrative speaking engagements.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:23PM (#10988005)
    "I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

    So the Internet can be full of organized corruption? Pay offs, rules only followed by those that don't have enough money and power?

    If there is data accessible via the Internet that "terrorists" could use to "attack" us then that data needs to be moved off of the Internet. The general public should be allowed to travel around without restrictions or control.

    Mr. Tenet called for industry to lead the way by "establishing and enforcing" security standards. Products need to be delivered to government and private-sector customers "with a new level of security and risk management already built in."

    What exactly does he mean by this? Does he mean that an open consortium should sit down and discuss how we should build a more secure network that is still able to communicate like the old one? Or does he mean that we should all be locked down with hardware and software tied with "trusted computing" which will lead to further domination by a small group of companies?

    Personally, I believe that the United States needs to understand that they aren't the only entity in the world and that they cannot determine the future of the Internet because they are paranoid about "terrorism". What would have happened if the Internet was this popular during McCarthyism? Would we have had to make sure we were all secure because of the over-inflated threat that the Soviet Scare created?

    Terrorism is another scare tactic phase in our history where money is diverted to pay for unnecessary applications (both military and civilian) to protect us against a threat that we have no way to stay ahead of. No matter what we do they will always find a way to circumvent our methods (ie scanning for bombs on planes when instead they used the plane as the bomb itself or checking for the outlines of guns and knives when they used a boxcutter).

    Somehow I don't think that this is a call to ban Microsoft products from the internet. What exactly does he want?

    He wants government control where government control is unnecessary. What they need is to stay out of the lives of the public and keep up with the protection of the entities that they already have control over. Sorry but Big Brother doesn't do anything but piss people off. I highly doubt that the "threat" is going to attack us through private channels over asymmetric broadband connections and dialup modems.

    I realize it is difficult for someone living their life in a position of authority in the high ranks of a government funded organization to understand what the people want but that's exactly why his comments need to be fought tooth and nail.

    I'll end my rant with: Keep your fucking own data safe from the "threat" without infringing on the freedoms created without government control.
    • by expro ( 597113 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:43PM (#10988381)

      Personally, I believe that the United States needs to understand that they aren't the only entity in the world and that they cannot determine the future of the Internet because they are paranoid about "terrorism".

      While there is some hope in other nations, the US seems to continuously invent new means of suppression and export them around the world.

      Regulation of the internet starts here, just like DVD encoding, DMCA, patriot act, etc. It becomes fashionable because the USA set the standard and most governments have a natural tendency to want to regulate things.

      Look at all the ammo Bush and predecessors have given to repressive governments all around the world.

      • Look at all the ammo Bush and predecessors have given to repressive governments all around the world.

        You mean like authorizing torture and thinking of ways to circumvent the Geneva Convention with imaginative and legally unstable word games?

        Or getting the UN to declare that the citizens of a country that's occupied by another country can't resist violently?

        Or what about providing a template for holding "elections" that are quickly and easily handed over to the "right" person regardless of who the citize
    • [T]he United States needs to understand that they aren't the only entity in the world and that they cannot determine the future of the Internet because they are paranoid about "terrorism"

      The US government is not paranoid about terrorism (though many citizens are, especially in the Red States). Terrorism is just a smokescreen. A boogyman that lets the government do as it pleases. A monster in the closet to be whipped out everytime the populace decides to get uppity or question the actions or motivations

  • I thought that US is a free nation, where all sorts of freedeoms flourish. Thsese include freedeoms at all extremes, including the fredom to associate or otherwise. What is this man spitting?
    • What is this man spitting?

      I think you meant to say "smoking." What is this man smoking? And that's a rather stupid question; it's clearly crack.

    • I thought that US is a free nation, where all sorts of freedeoms flourish.

      Adorable. Absoultely adorable. That is just about the sweetest thing I've heard since my daughter read me her christmas wish list to Santa.
  • It means (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stupidfoo ( 836212 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:23PM (#10988025)
    That he thinks that all actions should be logged and easily traced back to whoever committed said action.
    It also means that they want some better backdoors built into existing encryption products, but the CIA is having a hard time getting them into the open source ones.

    I wonder if the CIA/NSA/FBI/etc has people who help program OSS so that they can incorporate little hooks into things?
    • That he thinks that all actions should be logged and easily traced back to whoever committed said action.

      I'm sure the political dissenters in places like China who use the Internet to communicate with each other and the outside world will greatly appreciate their anonymity being taken away like this. Well, at least their governments will appreciate it.
  • ...that the 6 users out there that take security seriously will justify the cost of the internet.
  • Patriot Act v2.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fat-latvian ( 670482 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:23PM (#10988032)
    Time to start spinning the idea of regulating the internet and invading even more of our privacy in preparation for the latest and greatest version of the Patriot Act. I'm pretty sure it's up for renewal soon.
  • by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:23PM (#10988034)
    I understand what he's saying and he has a point about it being a weakness. But we need to take care of it in different ways by applying the security measures a corporate network would apply to themselves to the internet. Things such as detection and filtering of DoS's, exploits, etc, but with a waiver for those who agree to protect themselves. That way Aunt and Uncle Cletis aren't participating in a DoS, but I don't have my pen testing filtered by someone upstream.
  • Since those Islamic terrorists crashed browsers into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and they sent envelopes full of computer viruses to the Senate and the American Media building in Florida. Oh, wait...

    It's because those Islamic Terrorists learned how to fly jet airliners on-line! Yeah! Oh... Um...

    Because the idea is easily enforceable and people outside the United States will have no choice but comply! No? Crap...
  • Ahh, this would be nice, but the problem is that most likely the standards set for what is secure and what is not will be annoying to those of us in a forum like this.
  • Key word "former" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrn121 ( 673604 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:24PM (#10988045) Homepage
    Before you go freaking out with you tinfoil hats, read that article's title again. He is the FORMER director of the CIA, which means that now he is just a guy with an opinion, just like us (only with probably fewer computers/components sitting around unused in his house/parents' basement). He has no real authority over anything right now, he just has more of a voice because of his previous job as head of the CIA.
    • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:46PM (#10988437)
      He is the FORMER director of the CIA, which means that now he is just a guy with an opinion, just like us
      The former head of the CIA is one of a few people on Earth for which this statement is not true: he will never be "just a guy" ever again. Others I can think of are the US President, head of the Russian secret police, a few similar positions in the PRC, maybe a few more. They know too much and have too many contacts to ever be considered ordinary citizens even when they leave those jobs. Everything they say for the rest of their lives has to be analyzed per Frank Herbert's question: "what did he mean by that".

      One of the downside of taking one of those jobs, but true nonetheless.


  • The internet is global, not just national. Sure, limit the internet to Americans, but you can't limit it to the rest of the world.
  • correction (Score:3, Funny)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) < minus language> on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:24PM (#10988049)
    George W. Bush: I think you meant "internets"!
  • Puh-leeze! Pretty please, big brother, regulate my life so I can feel all comfy-cozy and enjoy my ultimately illusory security from the predators who also know more than I do about everything? Big brother, please protect me and keep me safe from the ones you call bad, those who aren't mostly good, defined as blindly following rules?
  • Wild West? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geminiDelta ( 836235 )
    His most interesting comment was "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control" ... A layman's analogy that doesn't really apply, and he never tells us what 'governance and control' means, although we can all take some pretty good guesses...
  • by No. 24601 ( 657888 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:26PM (#10988077)
    should not be using Internet infrastructure in their core network. Unfortunately, the Internet provides the most cost-effective solution to global networking (no quality of service guarantee until we hit IPv6). I think network engineers have a responsibility to society to ensure that the networks they design can withstand both natural disasters and deliberate attacks by both script kiddies and criminal masterminds like Bin Laden.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      should not be using Internet infrastructure in their core network.

      holy crap it's worse than that man.

      the computer systems that run the equipment and chemical dosing pumps as well as the high capacity pumps at a local city's water plant have Internet access...

      I worked there when they were installing it the "management" demanded that they had the ability to log into the systems and monitor the employees from home. Against the protests of the engineers that designed the system, the crew installing it, an
  • My idea.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cr0y ( 670718 )
    My idea for a while has been to require everyone who wants on the net to have a license, You need a license to drive on a highway, why not the information super highway? I think people should need to read some simple internet etiquette and then take a simple test making sure they know what they are in for, and to make sure that they will help contribute, instead of burden the internet.
  • Hooray! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:26PM (#10988080) Homepage Journal
    My regime would also support that. Internet licenses yadda yadda. Also impaling and stuff. One of these days I should write in my journal all the things my regime would be for...

    I'm sure this guy is just attempting to curry favor in order to get into my inner sanctum when the Revolution comes. George, I get your message loud and clear and I assure you that The Party will have a special place for you! Call me and we'll do lunch!

  • by mr_z_beeblebrox ( 591077 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:26PM (#10988081) Journal
    What exactly does he want?

    The same thing everyone of the experts who felt disparaged by the 9/11/ commission want. To prove they are indeed experts and that because of 9/11 they are smarter than everyone else and should be taken (read that paid) seriously for their trivial understanding of the problem.
    If our weakness is that we are to dependant on the internet, fix that fact first. Most govt agencies have no plan for if the internet was seriously down. So, they have put all their eggs in a basket that they don't control. The solution could be one of two things A) control the basket...can't work. B) Learn what systems need to be redundant without the internet and how to accomplish it. Difficult but more plausible.
  • From TFA:

    He said known adversaries, including "intelligence services, military organizations and non-state actors," are researching information attacks against the United States.

    So anyone who isn't Alec Baldwin?

    - sm
  • What he wants is a method of keeping America Safe from internet attacks with out having an good understanding about the technology and the scale of the internet.
    What law enforcement and lawyers get loophole in the system where the government can disconnect a person's or company's right to use the internet. So if they want someone off the internet they need to prove that they are not secure thus not taking internet security seriously. Which is a lot easier then proving that they are providing wrong doing?
  • I think that this could bring about a new golden age of the internet, for the people who really believe in it, and the security of it. Certainly if we were to block access to it from those who are not secure, there would be a new and revived interest in becoming secure and knowledgable about security. Back in the late 80s when the Internet started, people like Sir Tim Berners Lee and Bruce Perens and other pioneers were instrumental in crusading against the sort of exploits we see today. This search for k

    • I can't tell if you're kidding or not, but the Internet has definitely been circling the drain since corporations and the general public got involved with it. I've been around the Internet for a long time -- since the early 90s in fact -- and am thus quite aware of the ruinous activities it has been subjected to by the typical user since then. You know, things like people popping into a random USENET group and treating it like a tech support line, or in the larger picture basically assuming the entire net
  • The national media, including United Press International, were excluded from the event at Tenet's request

    So UPI/Washington Times didn't actually hear the speech, did they? They only got the quotes from secondhand sources which may or may not have had a bias against Tenet. The other quotes from the story imply that Tenet was more concerned about making the net more secure rather than preventing access.

    Limiting net access still makes for an interesting discussion.
  • by pHatidic ( 163975 )
    The microsoft OS is just as secure as any other, it's just the people who use it are by and large retards. When is the last time there was a virus released that could penetrate a fully patched OS where the user wasn't using IE or Outlook?
  • What's next, shut down access to book 'cause people might read controvesial ideas? Start reading the mail so that we can make sure no one is talking about ideas we don't like? Jam all radio transmissions to make sure no one is communicating anything we don't agree with?
  • Ben Franklin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SoupGuru ( 723634 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:27PM (#10988115)
    "Those who would trade essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Benjamin Franklin

  • Anyone who didn't see this coming after 11/3 (that's 3 Nov for your EUians) was deluded. Here comes the Big Hammer(tm). Let's see the Internet "route around" this one.

  • ...just like driving a car. Of course licensed drivers that suck (speeders, tail gaters, drunks) are on the road today too, so... that won't work now will it? Oh well, back to my Doom III game. ;P
  • I, for once, welcome our new Secure Internet Overlord. Because, even in Soviet Russia...

    Ah..hum..well..Never mind..

    This guy is just an insensitive clod who lost his job. I don't care.

  • After all, I use a Mac.

    That said, rather than only allowing use of the internet to those who 'take security seriously', how about mandating software to be basically secure?

    Whose fault is it that a XP machine is 0wzeD within 2 minutes of being connected to the net? Should someone be required to know the ins and outs of Windows exploits in order to use Windows, or should Windows come secure by default?

    Most people aren't going to learn, until you force them to. They might miss Will and Grace. All George

  • by big-giant-head ( 148077 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:33PM (#10988218)
    Mr "Slam Dunk WMD Iraq" Tennet. Please Both the R's and D's think this Guy is a loser. He's just trying to stir up something so he'll be invited on with Bill O'Rielly and get some free phone sex............
  • by digital photo ( 635872 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:34PM (#10988231) Homepage Journal

    That's like saying roads cause accidents and chemical spills because they are there. That is utter nonesense and complete BS.

    The internet is the road. And the accidents people are having include: adware/malware, virii, worms, and hacked systems. The internet isn't the cause of this, it is the road upon which this happens.

    It happens because companies built crappy operating systems that focuses more on bells and whistles than solid and secure software engineering.

    It happens because companies create crappy virulent programs that infects peoples' computers, making them even less secure(ie, adware/malware).

    This is NOT the fault of the internet, but rather the fault of the people who continue to create weak tools for people to use on the internet.

    Another problem takes the form of weak habits of the average user out there. The concept of security is so absent as to be unknown. Almost every person I used to talk to about security always said the same thing: "Why would anyone break into my computer? There's nothing important on it!" Thankfully, today, most of the people I talk to who have ANY contact with tech are more prone to ask me "Can you give me any tips on how to make my computer safer?".

    If the end user doesn't take steps to ensure that their own computers are safe when the people who sold them the computers don't, then they are just sitting ducks on the internet. Their computers end up contributing to the problem.

    The internet doesn't need to be restricted. From what most security reports say, only one thing needs to be restricted or re-engineered: Microsoft's Windows operating system(all versions) and the applications that they create(IE, MS OFFICE, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.)

    If MS can become secured, then a significant chunk of the security issues on the net will go away.

  • by andymac ( 82298 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:35PM (#10988240) Homepage
    OK, it's pretty damn short article to begin with, but I betcha what's driving these comments from someone like Tenet is the fact that more and more of the government's information, records, processes, yadda yadda yadda is online. It may be "secure" (in a manner of speaking) but it's online. The military (DoD) has been mandated to have everything networked - communications is a good example (look at JTRS [] to see what I mean). Interoperability and accessibility are the words of the day (well, decade) at DoD. So if all that info, if all those processes, if all that is plopped ontop of a networked infrastructure, where the security of the system relies on the security of 3rd party products (i.e.: OSes, app software, web servers, even hardware, etc.), then those 3rd party vendors better be providing an incredibly secure and robust product. If the DoD builds a big honkin wall between its network and the rest of the world's network, you only need one point of compromise to take down that internal network. A chain's only as strong as it's weakest link, right?
  • by MBraynard ( 653724 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:41PM (#10988355) Journal
    There is not a CIA director with a bigger record of dismal failure by far. Everything from ignoring Al-Queda's attacks under Clinton (who appointed him) to claiming finding WMD in Iraq would be a 'slam dunk' indicates nothing he says should be taken seriously.
  • Washington Times? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dokebi ( 624663 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:42PM (#10988370)
    Is this the same paper that claimed the Russians were responsible for the missing stockpile of conventional weapons and even the WMD? [] Does this paper have any credibility left as anything but a Republican Mouthpiece (a la Fox News?) And this gets front page?
  • by data1 ( 23016 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:01PM (#10988664) Homepage
    I think the final comment from the article speaks the most about the mindset of this fellow:

    The national press, including United Press International (UPI), were excluded from yesterday's event, at Mr. Tenet's request, organizers said.
  • The problem is... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pbrammer ( 526214 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:01PM (#10988671)
    That it's not the people's fault for thinking the software/hardware they are using *is* secure but really isn't.

    It's the industry's fault for not pushing for tighter controls on the equipment that provides Internet access points.

    I don't believe that people should be held accountable for knowing security inside and out. That's why they turn to the big guns of the industry to provide their hardware. "Hey, it says it's secure!"

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:03PM (#10988713) Homepage
    ... represents a potential Achilles' heel for our financial stability and physical security if the networks we are creating are not protected ...
    And I agree with this part -- companies used to pay for maintaining seperate physical networks, but you bring in a few IT consultants, and they tell you about how you can save so much money by paying them to phase out your outdated frame relay cloud, and move to 'The Internet'.

    There's a whole lot of traffic out there that doesn't need to be routed through the main internet -- sure, you can make a little page for some upper level management to check the status of the nuclear reactor from the comfort of his home, but it's just not worth the risk if it means you remove the air gap between networks.

    I don't agree with most of the other statements that he made, but companies who connect to the internet need to understand the responsibilities that come along with connecting, and their ISPs need to inform them of those duties, or provide it for them.

    In the early days, you had people point you to news.announce.newusers [] or later, rfc1855 Netiquette Guidelines [] if you misbehaved. It's now the blind leading the blind.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:05PM (#10988733)
    Here in the United States of Bush, citizens are free from smut, sex and drugs. We have declared war on everything bad for you, including:

    homosexuality, pornography, critical thinking, sex for pleasure, condoms, birth control, female pants (women should only wear dresses), good taste, gay marriages, healthcare, social security, terrorism, new age religion, all other non protestant religions and all democrats.

    Joking aside, 4 more years of loosing civil rights. All those who vote for Bush thinking they trade freedom for security, job well done. </sarcasm>

  • by freality ( 324306 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @02:05PM (#10988734) Homepage Journal
    This article is just one of many signs.

    It is strange, but I realize the Internet is my favorite part of modern human culture. I will use all means of dissent and resistance to keep it free. I have protested bad politics before, but that was nothing in comparison. I care about mainstream political issues, and war and trade.

    But for the net, I will protest in the streets, in the office, in my community and online, with my vote, my word, my wallet, my prayers, my dreams and if I can in my teaching to my children and from the grave. I will not accept this.

    "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them."
    -- Frederick Douglass

    The net is the canary in the coal mine. It signals the health of international free speech between peoples out from under the thumb of their rulers. If MY rulers try to mess with it in any way that oversteps norms of fair government, I will fight. We live in very dangerous *and* very promising times. Killing the freedom of the net is a great move towards the dangers and away from our chances for peaceful, understanding future.

    This is where I will make my stand. I'm going to die anyways. I will live free or die fighting.
  • by nusratt ( 751548 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:27PM (#10989991) Journal
    "free PR from the easily excitable? He's a washed up political hack who needs some press"...
    "Before you go freaking out with you tinfoil he is just a guy with an opinion, just like us"...
    "don't get your undies in a twist over this - there's nothing untoward going on here"...

    Wrong. It's called a "trial balloon": have the idea publicly proposed by someone from whom the Administration can easily disassociate itself, in case public reaction is overwhelmingly negative.

    "with a waiver for those who agree to protect themselves"...
    "His idea will not work...Users of email will not put up with it...Requires too much cooperation from everybody at once...Lack of centrally controlling authority...Jurisdictional problems...investment in protocols...illiterate politicians...Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem"...

    Wrong. These are precisely the reasons which can be used to justify legislation requiring *centralized* measures, e.g. requiring service providers to install monitoring at all links entering the country or originating from internal users.
    It would require no changes in protocols, etc.

    "the USA cannot determine the future of the Internet because they are paranoid about terrorism"...

    The USA doesn't need agreement from others to impose this on links passing within the USA.

    "the US seems to continuously invent new means of suppression and export them around the world...Regulation of the internet starts here, just like DVD encoding, DMCA, patriot act, etc. It becomes fashionable because the USA set the standard"...

    Exactly. And, from imposing it only within the USA, it's not a big step to extend it to embargo links from countries which don't cooperate -- just as the USA now requires USA-bound ocean shipments to be vetted at the originating location.

    Tenet said, "ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control".
    This is what it's really about, i.e. a governance mentality.
    This mentality is about, not just "terrorism", but also about IP, porn, leaks from whistle-blowers, etc.
    A good insight into this can be gained by reviewing the USA's current campaign to imprison porn-makers on the grounds that porn is accessible even to a single offended constituency anywhere in the USA.

    The US Constitution can NOT be used to protect against such monitoring, for two reasons:
    1. Mere monitoring won't be ruled to be censorship, any more than the existing monitoring of telecommunications by the National Security Agency.
    2. Likewise within the NSA model, monitoring won't be ruled to be "unreasonable search".

    Keep in mind that censorship doesn't need to be explicit in order to be effective: the mere public knowledge of the monitoring can have a significant suppressive effect.

    The worst thing about this is that "we" (the community of objecting users) have no way to escape to an alternative venue:
    -- authorities will rule that any alternative venue also poses a security threat, since an alternatively-connected PC can simultaneously be connected to the existing net.
    -- authorities *and* the public will regard the mere act of participation in any alternative venue, as evidence of nefarious intent, just like that subset of /. users who like to say, "If you're doing nothing wrong, why are you concerned about being monitored?"

    There are few philosophical objections (or none) which will be able to withstand the power of propaganda which combines personal security fears with invocation of the sacred virtues of preservntion of "values", "protection" of children, and international commerce.

  • by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:36PM (#10990124) Homepage Journal
    Products need to be delivered to government and private-sector customers "with a new level of security and risk management already built in."
    This, from the guy who had one of his agents exposed [], her life endangered, and then this guy couldn't be bothered to flog the investigators to a) start an investigation, and b) find and punish the perp(s)?
    The national press, including United Press International (UPI), were excluded from [the press conference], at Mr. Tenet's request, organizers said.

    Thank you for your opinion, sir. We'll give it the attention it deserves.
    Now where did I put that pesky trashcan?

  • Bug Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tacocat ( 527354 ) <> on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:05PM (#10991250)

    What it really means is that you won't be able to access the internet unless you use a Certified firewall appliance that is only sold by Microsoft for a modest fee.

    While this may be based on the best of intentions, do not think for a second that the final objective will be to limit access to the internet to only those with enough funds to afford the licensing.

    Rememeber, once upon a time Television and Radio broadcasting was FREE. Now it's extremely expensive because of licensing costs. What Tenet proposes will become a case for selling IP addresses to user on an Auction basis. And if you can't compete, you don't get the IP. Static IP's will cost MUCH MORE

    Without some serious effort to block Big Business, this will be the end of the internet in terms of freedom of use, access, and expression.

  • by denissmith ( 31123 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @06:12PM (#10992010)
    I remember in the old days when the Unix philosophy was "that which is not expressly prohibited is permitted". And I remember when Americans used to think " Innocent until proven guilty". Of course, I realize that these days are gone, never to return, but I do wonder whether Mr. Tenet misunderstands the Internet, or whether the comments reported to the reporter ( who wasn't allowed to the event, after all) misinterpreted Mr. Tenet.

    I don't see an easy way to deny access to the Internet to untrusted users, for the folowing reasons. First, as long as people can connect a modem to the POTS and find, or run, a DNS server
    there is no way to totally prevent access from a clever user, even in the US. Second, even if there was a way to shut down US POTS access, the Internet is not an American property, it is global and governed by standards that are outside anyone jurisdiction. The design of the Internet is, in fact, to prevent the kind of control he envisions. Governments and Industry COULD design a new network with protocols that denied access without trust keys, but I don't see how they could kill off the one that they have. Perhaps someone could enlighten me?

    That said, you could evolve a dual internet scenario, a commercial and closed net and a free and open net that would be increasingly (A) marginalized or (B)Used in the original, non-commercial way as a medium of communication, rather than advertising. But as long as you can run IP v.4 and get a phone call out you can't eliminate the old internet.

    You could make it costly and painful for the rule followers to use, but I don't think that was the idea.
  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @07:43PM (#10992900)
    If Comcast wants to make me demonstrate that I know basic networking security before they sell me bandwidth, that's fine. That's well within their rights, and it might actually in my best interest since my rates would go down (they'd need less of a tech-support staff).

    However, why exactly is this anything anywhere NEAR the government's business? The Internet, whatever military origins it might have had, is now a mostly private network. Two people, with two computers, agree to connect wires between them and carry traffic. The government's role in this is solely to prevent crimes (i.e. fraud) and to settle contract disputes. They have no business at all restricting who can contract with whom to run wires between what and carry data, "just because it's the Internet."

    Don't get me wrong: meatspace laws against fraud, unauthorized access (cracking), and the like still apply over the Internet, just as they would apply to transactions conducted in person. But this is equivalent to the government saying "Nobody can talk to Mr. Zhang or agree to carry messages for him, because he doesn't speak English well." The fact that it's over a wire makes no difference.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.