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The man who journalists and experts expect to be the candidate for the cyber czar position has a sketchy past

President Barack Obama's lead candidate to become the country's first ever cyber security czar has some skeletons in his closet that will likely alarm security advocates, recent media reports indicate.

Former Republican Congressman Tom Davis, who is the former head of the Government Reform Committee, has been listed at the leading candidate, and is well known for being tech savvy.  However, he has voted to expand the federal government's ability to wiretap and monitor Internet activity, along with helping draft the REAL ID Act.

"Given his role in REAL ID, Tom Davis would not be a good choice for privacy, which is something that President Obama specifically promised to protect in his remarks on the cyber security strategy,” according to Cato Institute director Jim Harper.  "Many cyber security planners refer obliquely to ‘authentication’ and ‘identity management’ programs that would devastate privacy, anonymity and civil liberties. Davis would probably work to roll past these issues rather than solve them.”

Davis also helped author the Federal Information Security Management Act in 2002, while also serving as a co-chair on the Congress Information Technology Working Group.

It was unsure for quite some time if the president would select a tech guru, a politician, or a politician with an understanding of technology.  It's obviously crucial for the cybersecurity czar to understand tech issues, and the cybersecurity issues facing the country today, but a bureaucrat who understands how to get something done in Washington also is important.

If Davis is selected, it's more likely he'll face difficult administrative problems -- not necessarily tech-related issues -- as military and government network defense remains fractured and confusing.  The cybersecurity czar would spearhead government defense, and help create new security guidelines on how to protect the country's infrastructure from foreign-based attacks originating in China and Eastern Europe.

Along with Davis, Melissa Hathaway, cyber advisor for President George W. Bush, and Paul Kurtz, Obama adviser and member of the National Security Council, also are two other possible candidates to the job.


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RE: Oh hell....
By Golgatha on 6/25/2009 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 5
I say no exceptions. Giving into a single exception will be the excuse for the need to monitor everything.


RE: Oh hell....
By invidious on 6/25/2009 3:52:32 PM , Rating: 5
Good point, how do you know who is hiding child porn unless you check to see what everyone is hiding? Privacy is not an issue that lends itself to exceptions or caveats.


RE: Oh hell....
By knutjb on 6/25/2009 4:56:48 PM , Rating: 4
Those kind of investigations require a warrant if any legal action is to be taken. We know the net is nowhere near private.

The bigger, but hardly mentioned issue, is Obama appointing another Czar. Czars are performing cabinet level functions without Senate approval or oversight. This avoids necessary public scrutiny of those in charge of these programs.

I don't have a problem with the president picking someone to resolve an issue in a predetermined time frame, then, once completed, disbanding it. This, like all of his other Czars, will be around for a very long time unless reigned in by the Congress. The Dems in Congress hold majority power and are directly responsible for oversight of the president and his minions. They are failing in their constitutional obligations under the separations of power requirement.

We don't need more unregulated big brother.


RE: Oh hell....
By mindless1 on 6/27/2009 1:47:41 AM , Rating: 3
The net is in fact private, your first sentence not only contradicts the second, it leaves out the detail that the warrant is needed even without legal action.

ISP customers expect the ISP not to hand out surfing records without a court order, nor can anyone attain them without an order, nor monitor you without one in a more active fashion.

The only thing non-private about the net is what one actively chooses to publish in a public forum, a small minority of net usage for most people unless they are addicted to twitter or similar.


RE: Oh hell....
By spuddyt on 6/25/2009 4:40:14 PM , Rating: 1
Give the man a 6

better yet, give him a number over 9.


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