Executive Order Gives Control Of Internet To Government

Where there’s a will, there’s a way...and it seems that the US government has finally found the means to achieve some measure of the total control over the internet that they have been seeking for the last 12 to 36 months. Through the use of an Executive Order (EO) that Obama signed, the administration has outlined their ability to exercise their complete control over the internet. The EO entitled “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,” enumerates and assigns duties to private, governmental, and non-profit organizations.

DHS Mandates Security For Private Entities

After a closer look at the document, Michael Maxstead, an internet security and privacy specialist, said, “This EO will allow the DHS (Department of Homeland Security,) access to every level of of the US network infrastructure. So in the end they win the privacy war...” He goes on to point out that the DHS would even be able to mandate security measures used by private entities. “One factor that many won’t understand, also,” he continues, “is that the NS/EP, (National Security/Emergency Preparedness,) network includes every sector of communications on US soil...including the internet, in it’s entirety.”

Within Presidential Powers

According to Maxstead, the NS/EP needs covered the EO and provided an opening to put in place the measures that legislative attempts have failed to get made into law. The EO allows the government to secure and prioritize internet communications, but does little to ensure that the critical infrastructures remain secured. In order to prioritize internet traffic with any efficiency, identification, traffic type, source and destinations must be known. But with recent scandals involving law enforcement agencies’ lack of concern over citizen privacy, many are wondering what will be done with the system once it is in place and not being used for an ”emergency.”

Not Really Secrecy, But...

Much of the EO details the how the mandate will be implemented, improved on, and (once the features are developed and implemented by companies and agencies,) verified, and leaves absolutely no room for debate. According to Mr. Maxstead, the lack of publicity surrounding the EO suggests a lot about the governments aspirations to “monitor and control everything we do in our daily lives.” And the President has the authority to create such an order. Mr. Maxstead said, “It looks like they finally got what they wanted, the total authority to monitor, and control the one thing that had remained virtually completely out of their control...the internet.” He continued, “It doesn’t give them 100% control 100% of the time, but who decides what entails a crisis or emergency? That’s when they get 100% control.”