So, about a year-and-a-half ago, the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (a mouthful otherwise known as HPSCI) introduced a bill known as the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA... yeah, yeah, I know...) which was intended to allow for the sharing of Internet traffic and cyber-threat information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies.
Seems logical, and necessary. And, well, in theory, it is.
In order to bring a sense of urgency to his bill, among other things, the Chairman mounted an almost-year-long defamation campaign against legitimate and world-proven China-based multinationals, including my employer Huawei.
Is China hacking our networks? Hell yeah (and we, of course, theirs). Does that have anything to do with Huawei? Nope. But, the Chairman needed a boogeyman, and, moreover, he needed to appease his corporate contributors wary of competition, so he chose an innocent China-based company as his proxy for pursuing his otherwise legitimate concerns with China.
It's ugly. But it is - sadly - what politics have become.
But hey, Mr. Chairman, you can't have it both ways...
When CISPA passed the House yesterday, the Chairman commented publicly (as reported by the American Center for Democracy Economic Warfare Institute (http://econwarfare.org/?utm_source=The+Cyber+Nervous+Nellies&utm_campaign=ACD%2FEWI+BLOG&utm_medium=email): "I am very proud that so many of my colleagues were able to look past the distortions and fear mongering about this bill, and see it for what it really is -- a very narrow and focused authority to share cybersecurity threat information."
With all due respect Mr. Chairman, are you f*cking kidding?
When it comes to distorting cyber-fear mongering, you Sir, have no peers – Indeed, I'm not sure there's enough Internet to catalog the extent of cyber-whoppers you've spewed, and that’s just over the last year.
Ah well, I guess we all have our priorities.
And, in the Chairman's case, as reported this week by Techdirt, his motivation may well be quite personal. Indeed, please pardon the lengthy excerpt from the Techdirt article, but, well, it speaks for itself:
“Of course, as we've noted all along, all attempts at cybersecurity legislation have always been about money. Mainly, money to big defense contractors aiming to provide the government with lots of very expensive "solutions" to the cybersecurity "problem" -- a problem that still has not been adequately defined beyond fake scare stories. Just last month, Rogers accidentally tweeted (and then deleted) a story about how CISPA supporters, like himself, had received 15 times more money from pro-CISPA group that the opposition had received from anti-CISPA groups.
So it seems rather interesting to note that Rogers' wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was, until recently, the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a "security" defense contractor company, whom she helped to secure a $10 billion (with a b) contract with the State Department. The company describes itself as "a leading private security company, provides government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world."
Hmm. Sounds like a company like that would benefit greatly to seeing a big ramp up in cybersecurity FUD around the globe, and, with it, big budgets by various government agencies to spend on such things. Indeed, just a few months ago, Rogers penned an article for Washington Life Magazine all about evil hackers trying to "steal information... The article is typical FUD, making statements with no proof, including repeating the NSA's ridiculous allegation that hackers have led to the "greatest transfer of wealth in American history." It's such a good line, except that it's completely untrue. The top US companies have recently admitted to absolutely no damage from such attacks.
(Link to the full Techdirt article: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130417/16253022748/oh-look-rep-mike-rogers-wife-stands-to-benefit-greatly-cispa-passing.shtml).
Like I said, it speaks for itself...
Perhaps the Chairman should be asked to prove the negative?
God only knows he should be familiar with the approach...