Yesterday, Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace discussed the Sony hack attack with a Republican guest, only. But as if that wasn’t enough GOP perspective, Wallace threw in some more, phrased in the form of a question.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was the sole guest for Fox News Sunday’s segment on the Sony hack. During the discussion, Wallace all but openly asked Rogers to attack the U.S. Senate (led by Democrat Harry Reid) for not passing Rogers’ cybersecurity bill:
WALLACE: OK. You talk about, you know, the effect this (Sony) could have on all of us. The federal government is now banned from helping private companies build up stronger firewalls to prevent cyberattack. In fact, you sponsored a bill that passed the House last year that would have made it easier for the government to cooperate and deal with private companies to protect themselves against this kind of threat. It passed the House. It did not pass the Senate because privacy advocates were worried about more abuses from big brother, if you will, on the internet.
Question—did those privacy advocates in this new world that we’ve seen post-Sony, do they need to get over those concerns?
Unfortunately for Fox News producers, Rogers did not go where you know Senator Ted Cruz or Rep. Louie Gohmert would have gone, maybe even before Wallace finished asking the question. But Rogers certainly provided a GOP perspective.
ROGERS: Well, I think healthy concern is a good thing. We accommodated those concerns in the bill. That’s why we got a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives on a bill that does simply this—it allows the NSA and other agencies who go overseas and collect malicious source code, that nasty stuff that hurt Sony, that could hurt your bank, that could hurt your job, bring it back, they protect the government networks but were prohibited from sharing that to the private sector.
Eighty-five percent of all the networks out there, Chris, are private sector networks, and contrary to popular belief, the NSA is not monitoring those 85 percent of the networks. They’re private networks, which is why North Korea can attack a company like Sony. This would have allowed them to share malicious source code so they could protect themselves.
So, we built in all the protections for civil liberties. Again, this isn’t about reading your e-mail. It’s about stopping malicious source codes, zeros and ones in a configuration that do nasty things to your computer and your information and are highly disruptive.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to digital civil liberties, has a vastly different view of the bill. EFF says Rogers’ bills destroy privacy protections and grant new spying powers to companies. But of course that perspective was not only unmentioned, Fox News made sure that would happen with its guest booking.
Watch it below, from the December 21 Fox News Sunday.
I tend to differ as a matter of principle with regard to the acceptability of allowing anybody to gather information as easily as NSA is able to do (but I admit to knowing little about the details in the USA). Such power, however responsibly it may be used today, can all too easily go wrong if wielded by the wrong hands.
In Italy, wire-tapping is virtually the only way the police can get the goods on the crooks and they’re currently making good use of it by busting corruption left, right and centre. Their efforts are not being blocked by the current government (which suffers from other limitations) but I remain worried about the potential for abuse.
Today’s lawmakers should follow the example of America’s founding fathers who thought hard on what might happen and wrote accordingly in the light of the technologies of their time. We need to do the same in the technologies of today. instruments, including and especially computers.
I’ve said it before about the NSA’s metadata collecting and I’ll say it again: There’s NOTHING wrong with it. Despite all the lies (from both sides), the government is NOT “spying” on you, specifically. Any “spying” has to go through official channels. But, the same people who’ve been screaming about the NSA largely have ZERO qualms in turning over far more private/personal information to big corporations (which have, in turned, been hacked of all sorts of information).