Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Dumbest Proposal I've Even Seen

For the non-techies, you DON'T want the configuration of a threatened network to be standard. The differences serve as protection (kind of like how come MACs don't succumb to PC viruses, worms, and the like - different OS, different vulnerabilities). When the network's backbone is all standardized as to software, you've opened a gigantic hole in the cyber-fencing - and all the bad guys can jump through that hole. Once breached, the entire network is MORE vulnerable, not less.

This is a situation that calls for differentiation, a redundant set-up (switchable to in an emergency), and NOT following the same software protocols as the affected network. The experts in security should be talking to Obama's people, and explaining why this isn't a good idea.

Two major reasons come to mind:

  1. You don't want critical functions of government to come to a halt - and that includes collection of taxes and issuance of checks to retirees. Not to mention air traffic control, missile defense, border security, etc.
  2. Think of the effect on the population - with newspapers folding daily, and television news dependent on government permissions, independent reporting of information is left to the Internet. Without a reliable source of information, people start spreading rumors and panic. IF this administration wants a stable government, that's the last thing they'd want.

The real issue is whether this is an attempt to control an independent Internet. The more suspicious (paranoid?) are suggesting this is a Fascist grab for control of information (or disinformation). I'm more inclined to believe it's inadvertent. That falls in line with my favorite quote:
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity. by Robert Heinlein
Found on Ace of Spades.

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