View Full Version : Jake Towne on HR 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act

Jake Towne
02-12-2010, 04:09 PM
For links and pics, visit http://towneforcongress.com/economy/open-letter-to-congressman-charlie-dent-on-hr-4061-the-cybersecurity-enhancement-act-of-2009-1

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." - attributed to Thomas Jefferson

Dear Congressman Dent,

A fellow citizen contacted me this morning concerning your recent vote to approve the spending of $503 million in HR 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009, last week with a 422-5 vote. This individual was distraught that Congress intends in the future to restrict the freedom of the internet, and after further review I believe her concerns are not unwarranted.

This $503 million-dollar bill enlarges and expands the funding of the existing Cyber Security Research and Development program in a time where overspending is a key concern. Section 105 tags $395 million for 'Computer and Network Security Research Grants' for the building of new buildings and research grants dedicated to subsidizing education and post-doctoral research. Another $108 million is tagged in Section 107 for the 'Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service' program which doles out free tuition in exchange for requiring recipients to work for the federal government.

HR 4061 copies section 11 and 12 of the highly controversial S 773 bill sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. This draconian bill, in section 18, gives broad executive power to the President to “declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network.” I see HR 4061 as part of a slow, stepwise progression to the possible licensing, regulation, seizure, and censuring of the internet.

Another HR 4061 supporter, Congressman Arcuri stated, “Investing in cybersecurity is the Manhattan Project of our generation, but this time around we are facing far greater threat.” However, this bill has nothing to do with NSA or military encryption; the subsidizing of spread-the-work schemes to place restrictions and cybersecurity on the internet is hardly a comparable threat to, say, a collapse in the dollar currency or the blowback from our ineffective interventionist foreign policy where 5,362 American troops have died in over 8 years in “nation-building” wars of occupation intermingled with the tribal warfare of three countries.

While Congress and yourself blindly continue the wars and pay the dollar threat no heed, I am not amused by your recent votes to waste Congress's time with meaningless resolutions like H.Res. 784, the 2560th anniversary of Confucius's birthday, H.Res. 1020, the 95th anniversary of the signing of the Rocky Mountain National Park Act, and let's not forget your recent tanning salon bill. A far better use of your time, for example, would be spent revoking unconstitutional legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act (which you have voted FOR) which authorizes the federal government to commit warrantless searches and seizures against any citizen among many more civil liberty violations.

As you have made no public statement on your website or elsewhere to my knowledge on HR 4061, let me list the points which I would appreciate your response, as my public servant, to. Once I am elected to replace you, I will remedy this situation with the novel-yet-simple “Our Open Office” plan for transparent and accountable government, an idea you ignored last summer.

There is no basis in the United States Constitution that delegates power to yourself to approve HR 4061. As you swore an oath to support the Constitution, please cite and defend the constitutionality of HR 4061.
Cybersecurity spending has been increased to $503 million from prior years. Please defend the increase in spending you have authorized here, remembering to include tangible benefits to the public from the funds spent in previous years. I suggest listing past departmental reports, as I have been unable to locate them, nor were they cited in the bill. Obviously, every time the government spends, it taxes the citizens.
Will you support, now or at any time in the future, the unconstitutional granting of powers to the President or any governmental body to declare a “cybersecurity” emergency and limit, restrict, or license internet access? From my time spent abroad, it is blatantly obvious that a free and open society cannot exist under such tyranny. Please reread the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."
While the May 2009 Cyberspace Policy Review claims that “hundreds of millions of dollars” have been stolen from the government, but there are no further details provided. Obviously, these criminals should be prosecuted in a court of law, but this obviously brings up the questions such as what corrective actions have been taken on the prior thefts? I doubt expanding a bureaucracy with more “hundreds of millions of dollars” and subsidizing cybersecurity students and research will prove to be an effective solution. As a member of the House, please procure these details on citizens' tax dollars being stolen.
Not to be flippant, but speaking of theft from the people, do you have any idea yet what the Federal Reserve did with over $2 trillion dollars in unapproved, off-balance sheet transactions during the Banker Bailout (which you DID approve) in 2008 yet? I would support the creation of a congressional committee to audit and achieve a smooth transition period before abolishing America's third failed central bank fiasco. The cost and future savings of such a committee is a more productive use of time than throwing $503 million dollars down a black hole. Plus, since most of dollars are electronic and not backed by anything (even scraps of linen) restoring fully-backed, constitutional sound money will eliminate a massive existing cybersecurity threat - which is that the government, Federal Reserve, and other malicious parties are actively devaluing the currency by creating dollars out of thin air.
As seen by the utter failures of economic central planning, Congress's attempts to institute centralized cybersecurity will also eventually fail, but probably not before taxing and hampering the liberties of each American. Government should strive to provide full transparency and accountability to the people - not act like an Orwellian Big Brother.

Last year, the Director of the National Cybersecurity Center, Rod Beckstrom, resigned citing that government cybersecurity was “effectively controlled” by the National Security Agency. In his resignation letter, he stated “the threats to our democratic process are significant if all top level government network security and monitoring is handled by any one organization (either directly or indirectly.)”

The idea of access to all government data controlled by a single spy agency is disturbing and since the mission of the NSA remains to “dominate global cryptology” and “secure national security systems” these two bureaucracies are in conflict with their opposing missions. Billions of dollars spent on intelligence did not prevent the 9/11 attacks, and to assume that blindly spending billions more on new buildings, research and tuition subsidies will improve cybersecurity is incredibly naive. Instead, Congress needs to reevaluate checks and balances, reduce redundancies, and eliminate entire agencies, especially in the spy community.

The federal subsidizing of the cybersecurity industry is completely unnecessary – private companies will react to hacker threats to their business by employing workers or outsourcing to other firms to provide data security. Without any impetus from government, this industry already exists, and if the government needs to hire employees for data security, well, we have about 20% unemployment in our country due to government interventions, so finding professionals will not be difficult. (By the way, you can fix the whole unemployment mess almost overnight by following my recommendations here.)

However, perhaps a better question is why the government would be keeping private and secret information on individuals who have committed no criminal acts in the first place.

Your fellow citizen,

Jake Towne

February 12, 2010

P.S. - While your comments clarified our severe differences on government spending and the threat of a dollar collapse, thank you for answering this question last year. I remain highly concerned that your approval of the Banker Bailout of 2008, by your inaction to salvage the dollar currency, and by your Big Government spending during the past decade in Congress, you have played an unwitting role in the eventual and likely demise of our monetary system.

I have yet to receive any reply to my offer to debate from November 2009.

I have yet to receive any reply to the Open Letter addressed to you on September 4, 2009, where I requested you to explain why you voted for HR 2749 which would, in my opinion, serve only to extend the government-sponsored cartelization of over our food supply.

I have yet to receive any reply to the Open Letter addressed to you on August 9, 2009, where I pointed out that health care legislation you support will have the same end effect as the current Democratic plan.

I have yet to receive any reply to the Open Letter addressed to you on July 21st, 2009, asking why you voted to give away $50 Billion in foreign aid, including $2 billion in military aid to Israel. I believe almost everyone in our district would agree with me that spending our tax dollars domestically would be better than frittering away them on economic and military aid abroad.

I have yet to receive any reply to the Open Letter addressed to you on July 7th, 2009, in regards to your thoughts on sponsoring a bill that would require Congress to read the bills before voting to pass them.

I have yet to receive any reply to the Open Letter addressed to you on June 26th, 2009, in regards to your thoughts on sponsoring a bill that would require Congress to only pass bills that address just 'One Subject at a Time.'

On June 4th, I sent you a note concerning the constitutionality of using of taxpayer funds on the nation's health care and asked a simple question in regards to HR 2516, the Medical Rights Act, a bill you co-signed. Could you please reply to this question?

On May 7th, I sent you a note requesting your thoughts on the Federal Reserve (specifically whether you would support abolishing it, and if not, why) and our nation's monetary policy.