Friday, July 16, 2010

US Cyber Command … “Perfect Citizen” or Big Brother?

US Cyber Command … “Perfect Citizen” or Big Brother?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The Daily Mail, of the United Kingdom, is reporting on a US government program named “Perfect Citizen.” According to the report: “The US plans to install a Big Brother-style monitoring system on the computer systems of private companies and government agencies to prevent cyber-attacks from abroad.The program, named Perfect Citizen, will rely on sensors that will be deployed in networks running critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants. It will be able to detect any attempt by foreign saboteurs to launch a cyber-attack. But privacy campaigners have reacted furiously, saying that 'mission creep' will make it easy for security forces to effectively spy on normal citizens.”

The surprise about all this is – that it IS a surprise!

The Internet is FAR too powerful for the government to leave unregulated. We have warned for a very long time now that the US government would, by hook, or by crook, regulate the Internet -- whether US citizens want it or not. And here it comes.

The Daily Mail’s article goes on to say: “The United States must be able to operate freely in cyberspace amid dangers of 'remote sabotage,' General Keith Alexander said in his first public remarks as head of U.S. Cyber Command.
Cyber Command was set up in May to protect U.S. interests in cyberspace.” (SOURCE)

So, what is this new US Cyber Command anyway? Well, according to Wikipedia this is what it is: “The United States Cyber Command is a United States armed forces sub-unified command subordinate to United States Strategic Command. The command was officially activated May 21, 2010 at Fort Meade, Maryland[1] and is slated to reach fully operational readiness by October 2010.[2][3]

The U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is a subordinate unified command under United States Strategic Command created by United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates on June 23, 2009. The command is led by National Security Agency/Central Security Service Director General Keith B. Alexander.[4] The command will assume responsibility for several existing organizations. The Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) and the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare (JFCC-NW) will be dissolved by October 2010. The Defense Information Systems Agency, where JTF-GNO now operates, will provide technical assistance for network and information assurance to CYBERCOM, and will be moving its headquarters to Ft. Meade.

"USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." [7]

Under the caption of “Concerns” the article in Wikipedia goes on to say the following: “There are concerns that the Pentagon and NSA will overshadow any civilian cyber defense efforts.[26] There are also concerns on whether the command will assist in civilian cyber defense efforts.[27] According to Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn, the command "will lead day-to-day defense and protection of all DOD networks. It will be responsible for DOD's networks – the dot-mil world. Responsibility for federal civilian networks – dot-gov – stays with the Department of Homeland Security, and that's exactly how it should be."

"The new U.S. Cyber Command needs to strike a balance between protecting military assets and personal privacy." stated Alexander, in a Defense Department release. If confirmed, Alexander said, his main focus will be on building capacity and capability to secure the networks and educating the public on the command's intent.

"This command is not about an effort to militarize cyber space," he said. "Rather, it's about safeguarding our military assets."[33] (Read the entire article at Wikipedia (HERE).)

The article in the Daily Mail went on to report this: “Defense firm Raytheon won a contract for the classified work's initial phase valued at up to $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

'You've got to instrument the network to know what's going on, so you have situational awareness to take action,' a military source told the paper.

'This contract provides a set of technical solutions that help the National Security Agency better understand the threats to national security networks,' Emmel said.

'Any suggestions that there are illegal or invasive domestic activities associated with this contracted effort are simply not true,' Emmel said.

'We strictly adhere to both the spirit and the letter of U.S. laws and regulations.' (SOURCE)

OOH-KAAY. I’ll bet you feel much better now – Right? Boy, I KNOW I DO!

You know, it is a shame that Americans can no longer trust their government. I mean, we have been lied to so much, and so often, over the past few months, especially, that what little trust remained between US citizens and their government has eroded to a point that some say it is lower than ever before in the history of the country.

Look, cyber warfare is a fact. No longer comic book fiction, or science fiction, it is REAL and our military is under near constant cyber attack. BUT – when the government tells me the new cyber command will use its powers only for military purposes – well, I have to look askance at that statement. I mean, unless there are two Internets, another Internet of which I have no knowledge, then the private citizens, and the military, use the same cyber space. At some point the military and private users of the Internet are bound to collide.

Will US users of the Internet now have to worry about “spooks” each time they boot-up and log-on? I don’t mean “spooks” of the ghostly variety, but “spooks” of the spying variety.

Add to all this the fact that we have a government that will look its citizens dead in the eye -- and flat out lie -- well, that sort of gives me reason to doubt everything they say, everything they promise, and, most certainly, everything they deny.

In an article at “The Intelligence Daily” the following is reported: “These revelations have triggered concerns that projects like PERFECT CITIZEN, and others that remain classified, signal a new round of secret state surveillance and privacy-killing programs under the catch-all euphemism “cybersecurity.”

The same article goes on to say: “In other words, the program will have major implications “beyond the critical infrastructure sector” and could adversely affect the privacy rights of all Americans. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to hypothesize that PERFECT CITIZEN may very well be related to other “intrusion detection programs” such as Einstein 3′s deep-packet inspection capabilities that can read, and catalogue, the content of email messages flowing across private telecommunications networks.” (SOURCE)

Is it paranoia on my part? Maybe. Maybe not. Our government has grown far too large and far too powerful.

Today, in America, paranoia is just “good thinking!”

J. D. Longstreet


  1. No matter what we know about this government, we have not been able to stop the outrages. The simple statement "Americans will not stand for this," belies the that there is nothing we can do until November. We have been rendered almost impotent.

    I simply can't bear to think about November 2nd not bringing meaningful and significant change. The thought that this must continue for another two years is to terrible to contemplate.