The latest Obama EO – he has issued 135 thus far – is a response to the failure of a cybersecurity bill to pass in the Senate. The Lieberman-Collins Cyber-security bill failed 52-46. Following the vote, Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, said “the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that” despite the will of the American people.
So-called cybersecurity is a crucial element of the surveillance state. “Cyber will overtake terrorism as the persistent, gnawing, constantly-at-us kind of threat and danger,” said Ashton Carter, deputy secretary of Defense, at a conference held in San Francisco in February.
Carter’s prediction fell on the heels of a long and drawn out propaganda campaign by the government warning that hackers and other shadowy miscreants would take down “America’s financial systems, water treatment plants, or the electrical grid that keeps lights on and homes heated,” as the Christian Science Monitor put it.
As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, cyber attacks do not threaten the power grid in the United States. Critical infrastructure in the U.S. is rarely connected directly to the public internet. “The fact of the matter is that it isn’t easy to do any of these things. Your average power grid or drinking-water system isn’t analogous to a PC or even to a corporate network,” writes Michael Tanji for Wired.