Category Archives: Technology

Liberals attack CDN using a foreign company

Liberals have decided that the first amendment is not important. Our views are unimportant and should not be protected at all.

Web of Trust is run by a European company that is disinterested in our values and freedoms. In fact, it would prefer that we had neither.

WoT was supposed to protect surfers from child porn and viruses. Instead, it has turned into a censorship network that should be avoided at all costs,

Many have gone to http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/conservativedailynews.com and registered so that they can counter the liberal onslaught.That is the best way to make a difference – unless MSNBC.com is your idea of news.

$80M Pork Project Sits Useless in AK

It sounds like an April Fool’s news story. But it’s not. Over the weekend a report emerged that should make everyone shake their heads. A brand new, unwanted high speed ferry worth $80 Million was put up for auction receiving only one bid of $750,000.

The 200 foot vessel was christened in 2010. Built in Southeast Alaska it was designed for use in the Southcentral area of the state. Only problem? There is no dock or plans to build any docking facilities for the ferry.

So what happened?

In a nutshell, a boat designer convinced the state of Alaska and the Department of Defense that he could create a new type of boat that could be raised or lowered in the water providing icebreaking ability. This high speed vessel would be used to ferry residents the length of Cook Inlet and would be available for rapid deployment in case a disaster, such as an emergency plane landing in the inlet.

It sounds good on paper right?

Imagine with me a whole bunch of guys spending other peoples’ money talking about this idea. You might call them ‘Yes-Men’. Imagine the adjectives being tossed around: novel, new technology, rapid response, ground breaking. . . Sure, they all said, “Let’s build it!”

But what about the cost?

The population of the entire borough this ferry would serve was only 80,000 residents. In fact, Alaska’s most populated city of Anchorage hovers at 300,000. A pricey endeavor for a small population. Luckily, the Navy was interested and because they were, much of the money was paid from the DoD budget. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was said to be instrumental in getting the earmarks for this pork project added. (Yes, he was a Republican.)

MV_Susitna_-_Catamaran_Ice_Breaking_Ferry_for_AlaskaUnfortunately, without additional foresight, the prototype was built.

After its completion, a state study discovered the boat can hold 134 passengers but only 20 vehicles, and burns 375 gallons of fuel an hour. A state ferry with a similar capacity, the Lituya, burns 55 gallons an hour. The borough and the state decided they really couldn’t use it. It was too expensive and docks currently within the state ferry system would have to be reconfigured.

Here we are three years later. It costs the state $75,000 each month to maintain and now we know nobody else even wants to bid on this white elephant…or should we say orca?

One has to wonder, in light of the severe military cuts via the sequestration, how many veterans college tuition costs would have been covered if the federal government had just thought this project through?

Read more at the Mat-Su Borough website, the Anchorage Daily News or even the MV Susitna’s own website.

Pivot TV: A New Channel for Millennials

A new television channel geared to young adults in the 15-34 demographic will be unveiled this summer.

Touted as a new network desigpivotned to disrupt conventional wisdom, pivot will be available both through cable and on via internet subscription.  It will be the first channel to offer a stand-alone app for access. Pivot will offer a variety of programming, including shows geared to social issues and news, as well as, entertainment including some original series.

The brain child of Participant Media, pivot expects to reach 40 million homes when it debuts on August 1. Participant Media has been successful with many of its past endeavors including films like: “The Help,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Lincoln.”

From their press release: With 40+ million subscribers at launch, pivot’s programming slate is anchored by more than 300 hours of original programming in its first year.  The network’s first six greenlit series are: “TakePart Live,” a live talk show, five nights a week; “HitRECord on TV!,” a re-imagination of the variety show from director/creator/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and executive producer Brian Graden; “Raising McCain,” a genre-bending docu-talk series starring and executive produced by the complex and accomplished Meghan McCain with Go Go Luckey Entertainment;“WILL,” a modern period drama from Craig Pearce, writer of “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby”; “Jersey Strong,” a real reality series from Peabody Award-winners Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin.

The network will co-produce with Univision News and Latin World Entertainment ten, one-hour documentaries that will air on pivot in English and Univision in Spanish.

For more information and a preview of the programming visit the Participant Media website or watch their ad:

Posting Pics of Passed out Pals, the New Craze?

With the advent of social media came the opportunity to share embarrassing pictures with friends on a large scale. These snapshots might be seen as funny at age 15 or even 21 but what about at 25 or even 35? Especially when looking for a job, these ‘tagged’ internet images, might well cause an employer to choose a less controversial job applicant.

Is it just a fun craze or will it cause problems down the road? Further encouraging these awkward and possibly humiliating smart phone shots of drunken friends is a new Twitter account inviting students from the University of New Hampshire to tweet pictures of their passed out pals.

The “UNH Blackout” Twitter page shares graphic pictures of unconscious young adults who imbibe in too much alcohol. As seen in the video, many of the UNH students find the photos amusing and think these compromising shots are just in good fun.

The students may be surprised when they apply for actual jobs to discover that employers now regularly check the internet and social media for applicant information. They may be further surprised to learn that, once posted, nothing is ever really gone from the internet.

 

 

Think Your Home is Private? Think Again.

Smart Meters tells your insurance company, the police, and anyone else, EVERY DETAIL about you! And that information is for sale!

YouTube Description:

We have upgraded that letter of warning and refusal to the power company and it no longer fits in the allotted space here. You can find that by going to: jerryday.com
On that home page, scroll down, way down, you will pass a large picture of an electric meter and a document called “Public Notice” (you will want to hang that on your electric meter). Right below that is some short instructions titled TEXT OF LETTER FOR POWER COMPANY. The letter is right below that.
Copy/paste that letter into your word processor, edit it according to the instructions, and send it to your power company. The sooner the better. They are sneaking these meters onto people’s homes by the thousands. If you already have a digital meter (bad) go to FreedomTaker.com for a special legal notice form (“Demand For Removal”, $9.95) and safe analog meter replacement kits ($69.95). Take back your power. If you have questions, there is an email address and phone number at the bottom of the home page at FreedomTaker.com.


H/T Bonq

Is SoloPower the Next Solyndra?

solopowerShould the government be in the business to be in business? Can we afford to offer huge taxpayer backed loans to companies? If we are borrowing billions just to pay our own bills can we afford to be in the loan business?

Yet another solar company is headed for bankruptcy. This, just six months after receiving a government guaranteed 197 MILLION dollar taxpayer backed loan. In September 2012 Reuters reported on the similarities between this start-up company and the now well-known, and failed, Solyndra. Have we learned nothing?

In February SoloPower acknowledge that it was already restructuring through layoffs and selling off equipment.

In my neighborhood last summer a new restaurant opened with great fanfare. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with fresh seafood. Located in the middle of the desert it offered a unique menu. Its opening took away business from several other area restaurants causing at least one to close. Their inexpensive meals caused some to wonder how they were managing to import seafood in a cost effective manner because we are not near the beach. Sad to say, in less than six months the doors were shuttered, first with a note of reorganization, then one of non-payment of rent. Their business plan did not pan out and investors lost their financing money. Still, they were privately owned. Only those willing to take a risk lost money.

So, why is the government putting up all this money to a business without a solid plan? One hundred and ninety-seven million dollars is not pocket change.  What government official approved this giant loan? Is our country in such a position that we can risk these huge amounts of money? It is expected that taxpayers will get only 19% of $142 million and virtually none of the remaining $385 million loan money from Solyndra.  Maybe it’s time that the government get out of the business of being in business and leave risky start-ups to those who can afford the loss.

Watch the latest update here:

 


 

Even Michelle Obama Vulnerable to Hacking

This week my Credit-cardsmother was talking about ID theft. Several of her friends had their credit card information stolen and used. Fortunately, the credit card companies caught the fraud and helped each cancel the accounts. Mom is worried about her own credit and the safety of her accounts.

And well she should be.

Yesterday it was reported that even the First Lady, Michelle Obama, had her personal information hacked and posted on a website. Some are saying this may be a hoax though it is being reported as valid information. She’s not alone. Similar ID theft has happened to other celebrities including Beyonce, Mel Gibson and even former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Obama’s are fortunate and have the Secret Service investigating. Other celebrities are able to get FBI response but for most of us it’s not so easy.

So, short of getting the Secret Service’s ear what can you do?

  • If you do nothing else, you can become more aware of where you share personal information online and elsewhere.
  • Make sure your wi-fi connections are secure.
  • Monitor your bank and credit accounts. Many banks and credit card providers offer monitoring plans (sometimes at a cost.)
  • Be sure to take advantage of the free annual credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and monitor your credit  standing along with your free credit scores using Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card.
  • For a fee you can enroll in a identity monitoring program.

You can read more at ABC Local andYahoo News. For more prevention tips visit IdentityTheft911.

 

 

Dismantling Washington

anh-usa.org
Washington, D.C. (which the DC part now stands for dirty cesspool) should become a thing of the past. Society has outgrown the need for a centralized government full of power hungry aristocrats, greedy lobbyists, and corrupt white collar criminals.

When I say criminals I am not just talking in the abstract; I am referring to real criminals.

According to a study from the online publication Capitol Hill Blue, the American people have elected a bunch of politicians that are better at breaking laws than making laws. America’s low information voters have chosen some real class acts to represent them.

Just how bad are some of our members of Congress?

29 members have been accused of spousal abuse, 7 have been arrested for fraud, 19 have been accused of writing bad checks, 117 have bankrupted at least 2 businesses, 3 have been arrested for physical assault, 71 have such bad credit that they can’t even qualify for a credit card, (yet with their special clearance as a member of Congress they get an Amex card without having a credit check.) 14 have been arrested on drug related charges, 8 have been arresting for shoplifting, and at least 84 members of Congress have been stopped for drunk driving but subsequently let go once they showed they were members of Congress.

If all that hasn’t made you lose your lunch this sure will.

According to the 2013 Congressional schedule, Congress will take 239 days off! That means they will only “work” 126 days of the year. If that wasn’t bad enough these hardly working, drunk driving, womanizing, bad credit, criminals get paid a minimum of $175,000 a year. Not bad for 126 days of so called work. They have worked themselves so hard that they don’t even have the strength to create a budget. The last time our dedicated public servants passed a budget was April 29, 2009. That is an unbelievable mind boggling 1,415 days without a budget, and counting.

This article’s intent is not to highlight the ineptness and unprincipled actions of our corrupt Congress; instead its purpose is to illustrate just how incidental and unnecessary Washington, DC has become. Former Republican Presidential nominee Rick Perry may not have been able to talk his way out of a paper bag; however he had the political will and courage to tell the American people that if he were to be elected President he would make Congress a part time job.

I couldn’t agree with him more. In fact, I’d like to take his suggestion a little further and dismantle Washington, DC altogether; and here is how we can do it.

We live in a virtual and digital society in which nothing seems impossible. The constant advancements in technology have created a very mobile society. We live in a world where you can start your car, turn the lights on and off in your house, and check your blood pressure, all by using your I-phone. There is no reason why Congress can’t conduct official government business from their respective state Capitols. Think about how much money they could save in travel expenses and housing alone?

With email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, video conferencing, and websites such as gotomeeting.com; there is no shortage of technology that could be utilized to perform the everyday functions of Congress from outside of Washington, DC.

According to census.gov, 1 out of 10 workers over the age of 65 works from home. This is a growing trend that is only going to continue as more businesses look for ways to cut operating expenses and increase productivity. With so many older workers still in the workforce due to the Obama economy; many of these workers work from home.

Companies that employ workers who telecommute save on expenses such as office space, equipment, furniture, and supplies. Employees who work from home are able to save money on such expenditures as clothing, childcare, parking, and gasoline. Also, some studies have shown that workers who telecommute are more effective and efficient at their jobs than those who work in the office. Why not extend that same invitation to members of Congress?

According to statistics from the 112th Congress, the average age of a member of the House of Representatives is 57 years and the average age of a member of the Senate is 63 years. These folks should be required to work remotely from their respective states and only come into Washington a few times a month to cast votes.

Washington, DC is 68.3 square miles of influence, corruption, and centralized power. The only way to change Washington is to remove the influence, corruption, and power from it; and that starts with Congress. The only way to do this is by forcing members of Congress to not congregate permanently in Washington, DC.

A suggestion would be to pass a law in which no member of Congress is allowed to have permanent residence within 100 miles of Washington, DC. By doing this you automatically decentralize the influence and power, and make it harder for lobbyists and power brokers to influence fiscal policy. This is how you change Washington, DC.

To some who are reading this I understand it may sound a bit Orwellian. Telling free people where they can and cannot live may seem a little extreme. What is more extreme is having career politicians drunk with power spending future generation’s money on programs they can’t pay for. We are at a time in our nation’s history in which the only real solutions require real drastic measures.

The truth is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. If we take away Congress’s power we can return it to its rightful owners; we the people. Most Democrats who read this will think I’m crazy. Even some Republicans will think this is a bad idea; however most limited government Conservatives will love it. My only hope is that those members of Congress who believe in freedom, liberty, and limited government read my article and introduce legislation based on this idea. A good idea can only become a great idea when it is acted upon.

As a political strategist, commentator, and radio talk show host my job is to give solutions, not talking points. I may not always be right, but I am always thinking outside the box about different ways to make America a better, stronger, and freer country. If we are serious about saving this country and truly believe in a limited government it is time we put our money where our mouth is and dismantle Washington, once and for all.

Suggested by the author:
www.joshbernsteinpoliticalwriter.com
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Health Impacted by Green Wind Turbines?

wind turbineTwo wind turbines towering located in the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Massachusetts were intended to produce green energy and savings but after less than two years it appears they may instead be creating health issues to neighbors causing the town to consider their removal.

In the haste to reduce carbon emissions of standard fossil fuel generators, cities and towns have been given incentives to install green alternative energy producers. Unfortunately, it appears there maybe be unintended consequences from some of these programs.

Observational and case studies appear to show a broad range of health problems associated with the wind turbines including headaches, migraines, sleep disturbance, negative effects on psychological well-being, among others. A Canadian study has been commissioned beginning this month, to review the health and stress disturbances of residents who live in the vicinity of wind turbines.

The residents of Falmouth probably wish they had waited until this study was complete before spending all the money to install the turbines and now possibly spend as much, if not more, to remove them.

 

The lies of free trade proponents

In his SOTU speech, Barack Obama announced that his Administration is (unconstitutionally and thus illegally) negotiating trade agreements with the EU and countries of the Pacific Rim. Free trade proponents – including Iain Murray of the pseudoconservative American Spectator – applauded him, as they are ideologically aligned with him. In defense of their (and his) free trade agenda, they have regurgitated their standard litany of lies about trade.

Murray falsely claims that:

“The benefits of free trade are many, and accepted by virtually all economists. They include reductions in the cost of living, greater choice and increased quality of goods, higher incomes on both sides, economic growth and, perhaps most important in an increasingly corporatist America, a reduction in the effectiveness of lobbying. Protectionism provides the reverse in all of these cases, and would be just as foolish now as when the Smoot-Hawley law deepened the Depression. (…)

However, that last benefit in the list I just provided has not escaped the eye of special interests. Indeed, most of the free trade agreements which America has negotiated in recent years have been heavily influenced by lobbyists, not only from industry, but also from the environmental and labor organizations. They have consistently insisted on inserting measures into the agreements that maintain protections for their interests and reduce the scope for the full benefits from free trade.”

All of his claims are blatant lies.

There are NO benefits from free trade. None whatsoever. It is protectionism that brings about the benefits he claims, not free trade.

How do we know it? From the facts – from the results of real life, not theoretical theses put forward by Murray and others living in their academic ivory towers.

Increased quality of goods? Don’t make me laugh. The goods that the US imports from China and other “developing” countries are of abysmally low quality, made from weak materials in a poor fashion, breaking down after little time of use, and many of them – including toys and food – are poisoned with lead (toys) or melamine (food). The problem is so grave that one American mother raised that question in a 2007 GOP presidential debate. Virtually anyone who has bought anything made in China will attest to the poor quality of Chinese goods.

Reductions in the cost of living? Rising incomes on both sides? Is that a joke? Since the ratification of the first “free trade” deals in the 1990s, the real wages and real income of low-income and middle-class workers has remained flat in inflation-adjusted dollars. The only Americans who have seen their incomes rise since then have been the wealthy – the CEOs of large corporations who are happy to ship jobs overseas (mostly to China).

Greater choice? China’s price-dumping, flooding of the US with extremely low quality goods, and refusal to implement any environmental or labor standards has undercut and undermined American companies and to the flooding of store shelves with Chinese products, leaving Americans with little choice other than these low-quality products.

Reduction in the effectiveness of lobbyists? Don’t make me laugh. It was precisely lobbyists – and no one else – who wanted and secured the passage of all free trade deals ratified by the US, from the WTO to the GATT to NAFTA, to Most Favored Nation status for China, to the disastrous KORUS FTA.

American workers and voters did not want these disastrous free trade deals. Indeed, they vehemently protested against them and urged their Congressmen and Senators to vote against them (especially against the KORUS FTA).

It was the greedy CEOs of large multinational corporations and their lobbyists on Capitol Hill who campaigned for and secured the passage of these disastrous (for America) deals.

Economic growth? That’s the most idiotic claim Murray has made. Free trade has done nothing but stymie US economic growth. Historically, the US economy has grown fastest when operating under protectionist (economically nationalist) policies: protective tariffs.

Indeed, this is what all history – of all countries – shows. It proves that protectionism is what brings about fast economic growth, while “free trade” (i.e. being a dupe who borrows money to buy foreign products and destroys his own industry) leads to economic stagnation.

Protectionism (economic nationalism) is the trade policy of ascendant economic powers; free trade, the policy of descending, declining ones.

EVERY country which ever became an economic power became one by protecting and nurturing its industrial base – England under the Acts of Navigation, France under Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Napoleon Bonaparte, Britain until the mid-19th century, Prussia under the Customs Union (1834-1871), unified Germany under Bismarck and his successors, the US from 1861 to the 1960s, postwar Japan, China today.

NO country ever became an economic power by indulging in free trade, which is only for dupes and idiots and leads to economic disaster.

The US became the world’s economic superpower – indeed, was once the economic envy of the world – because from 1861 until at least the 1960s it protected and nurtured its industry with tariffs that effectively barred most foreign products from the US and protected its industrial base while not hampering competition between domestic producers in any way (and antitrust legislation ensured that such competition would stay alive in the US).

Thus, the US became a world producer of everything, an economically fully self-sufficient country, supplying not just its large population but the entire world with all sorts of products, from alloys, to cars, to planes, to everything else. By the 1940s and the early 1950s, it accounted for 50% of the world’s industrial production, partially due to the damage WW2 inflicted on Europe but partially due to the protection of the American industry (which was indispensable in winning that war by producing weapons for the US and its allies).

This was because, from its founding until at least the 1960s, the US followed the preceipts of the Founding Fathers, especially Alexander Hamilton: Trade surpluses are preferrable to trade deficits. It does matter where things are produced. There is no free lunch. Manufacturing, not finance, is the nation’s economic muscle.

But today, the US hardly manufactures anything and has become dependent on foreign countries – especially China – on all sorts of products, including the necessities of life.

“Free trade” has been a total disaster for the US. Since 2000 alone, thanks to free-trade policies, over 55,000 factories across the country have been closed and relocated overseas, mainly to China, and 6 million good, well-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped – mostly to China. The only reward is the dubious privilege of buying low-quality Chinese goods.

Before NAFTA’s ratification, the US had an annual trade surplus with Mexico; since 1993, however, it has had a trade deficit with that country every year and the 2012 trade deficit was the largest between the two in history. After ratification of the KORUS FTA, America’s trade deficit with South Korea jumped threefold in April 2012 alone. Our trade deficit with Japan is the largest ever between us.

America’s trade deficit with China is the largest ever between any two countries in human history: $300 bn in 2012.

Not just between the US and China, but the largest between any two countries on God’s green Earth in all recorded human history!

And yes, trade deficits do matter. A lot. They decrease the country’s GDP while increasing the GDP of the country you’re buying from. This is not surprising to anyone who knows economics 101: to be able to buy something, you have to earn the money to buy it – or borrow it. If you borrow money, you’re driving yourself deeper into debt. If you buy it with the money you’re already have, you’re transferring your income to the other guy. He earns money and you lose it.

If he sells you more than he buys from you, he makes more money at YOUR expense than YOU do at his expense. In other words, on net, he earns money at YOUR expense: he takes money from you, while you lose money.

Producing goods creates jobs (all goods have to be made by someone). If you buy goods from a foreign country, you’re creating jobs in THAT country rather than yours, and increasing the income of THAT country rather than yours, while you lose money and jobs (or, at minimum, the opportunity to create jobs at home).

That country gains and you lose.

If you buy more from abroad than you export, you’ll have to borrow money to buy those things, thus driving yourself deeper and deeper into debt.

Those “economists” who support free trade clearly don’t even know Economics 101, or the Basic Facts of Life 101.

Free trade has also been a political disaster for Republicans. They’ve been complicit in its making, indeed often leading the campaign for it, and helped destroy most of American industry. Might the wiping out of most factories in the Midwest and the Northeast have had anything to do with Republicans inability to win those states and their foolish advocacy of free trade?

Illinois and Michigan haven’t voted Republican since 1984; Pennsylvania, not since 1988; Ohio, not since 2004.

By contrast, from 1860 to 1924, Republicans – then known as The Party of Protection – put 12 presidents only in the White House. The Democrats put only 2.

In short, the claims of Iain Murray and other free traders – none of whom have ever built a great nation – are blatant lies.

Obama Executive Order: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

white_house

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

IMPROVING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE CYBERSECURITY

 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1Policy. Repeated cyber intrusions into critical infrastructure demonstrate the need for improved cybersecurity. The cyber threat to critical infrastructure continues to grow and represents one of the most serious national security challenges we must confront. The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable functioning of the Nation’s critical infrastructure in the face of such threats. It is the policy of the United States to enhance the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and to maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties. We can achieve these goals through a partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to improve cybersecurity information sharing and collaboratively develop and implement risk-based standards.

Sec2Critical Infrastructure. As used in this order, the term critical infrastructure means systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.

Sec3Policy Coordination. Policy coordination, guidance, dispute resolution, and periodic in-progress reviews for the functions and programs described and assigned herein shall be provided through the interagency process established in Presidential Policy Directive-1 of February 13, 2009 (Organization of the National Security Council System), or any successor.

Sec4Cybersecurity Information Sharing. (a) It is the policy of the United States Government to increase the volume, timeliness, and quality of cyber threat information shared with U.S. private sector entities so that these entities may better protect and defend themselves against cyber threats. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security (the “Secretary”), and the Director of National Intelligence shall each issue instructions consistent with their authorities and with the requirements of section 12(c) of this order to ensure the timely production of unclassified reports of cyber threats to the U.S. homeland that identify a specific targeted entity. The instructions shall address the need to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, operations, and investigations.

(b) The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a process that rapidly disseminates the reports produced pursuant to section 4(a) of this order to the targeted entity. Such process shall also, consistent with the need to protect national security information, include the dissemination of classified reports to critical infrastructure entities authorized to receive them. The Secretary and the Attorney General, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a system for tracking the production, dissemination, and disposition of these reports.

(c) To assist the owners and operators of critical infrastructure in protecting their systems from unauthorized access, exploitation, or harm, the Secretary, consistent with 6 U.S.C. 143 and in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, shall, within 120 days of the date of this order, establish procedures to expand the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program to all critical infrastructure sectors. This voluntary information sharing program will provide classified cyber threat and technical information from the Government to eligible critical infrastructure companies or commercial service providers that offer security services to critical infrastructure.

(d) The Secretary, as the Executive Agent for the Classified National Security Information Program created under Executive Order 13549 of August 18, 2010 (Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities), shall expedite the processing of security clearances to appropriate personnel employed by critical infrastructure owners and operators, prioritizing the critical infrastructure identified in section 9 of this order.

(e) In order to maximize the utility of cyber threat information sharing with the private sector, the Secretary shall expand the use of programs that bring private sector subject-matter experts into Federal service on a temporary basis. These subject matter experts should provide advice regarding the content, structure, and types of information most useful to critical infrastructure owners and operators in reducing and mitigating cyber risks.

Sec5Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections. (a) Agencies shall coordinate their activities under this order with their senior agency officials for privacy and civil liberties and ensure that privacy and civil liberties protections are incorporated into such activities. Such protections shall be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles and other privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks as they apply to each agency’s activities.

(b) The Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall assess the privacy and civil liberties risks of the functions and programs undertaken by DHS as called for in this order and shall recommend to the Secretary ways to minimize or mitigate such risks, in a publicly available report, to be released within 1 year of the date of this order. Senior agency privacy and civil liberties officials for other agencies engaged in activities under this order shall conduct assessments of their agency activities and provide those assessments to DHS for consideration and inclusion in the report. The report shall be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary. The report may contain a classified annex if necessary. Assessments shall include evaluation of activities against the Fair Information Practice Principles and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies shall consider the assessments and recommendations of the report in implementing privacy and civil liberties protections for agency activities.

(c) In producing the report required under subsection (b) of this section, the Chief Privacy Officer and the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS shall consult with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

(d) Information submitted voluntarily in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 133 by private entities under this order shall be protected from disclosure to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Sec6Consultative Process. The Secretary shall establish a consultative process to coordinate improvements to the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. As part of the consultative process, the Secretary shall engage and consider the advice, on matters set forth in this order, of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council; Sector Coordinating Councils; critical infrastructure owners and operators; Sector-Specific Agencies; other relevant agencies; independent regulatory agencies; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; universities; and outside experts.

Sec7Baseline Framework to Reduce Cyber Risk to Critical Infrastructure. (a) The Secretary of Commerce shall direct the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (the “Director”) to lead the development of a framework to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure (the “Cybersecurity Framework”). The Cybersecurity Framework shall include a set of standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks. The Cybersecurity Framework shall incorporate voluntary consensus standards and industry best practices to the fullest extent possible. The Cybersecurity Framework shall be consistent with voluntary international standards when such international standards will advance the objectives of this order, and shall meet the requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 271 et seq.), the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-113), and OMB Circular A-119, as revised.

(b) The Cybersecurity Framework shall provide a prioritized, flexible, repeatable, performance-based, and cost-effective approach, including information security measures and controls, to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure identify, assess, and manage cyber risk. The Cybersecurity Framework shall focus on identifying cross-sector security standards and guidelines applicable to critical infrastructure. The Cybersecurity Framework will also identify areas for improvement that should be addressed through future collaboration with particular sectors and standards-developing organizations. To enable technical innovation and account for organizational differences, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services that meet the standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes developed to address cyber risks. The Cybersecurity Framework shall include guidance for measuring the performance of an entity in implementing the Cybersecurity Framework.

(c) The Cybersecurity Framework shall include methodologies to identify and mitigate impacts of the Cybersecurity Framework and associated information security measures or controls on business confidentiality, and to protect individual privacy and civil liberties.

(d) In developing the Cybersecurity Framework, the Director shall engage in an open public review and comment process. The Director shall also consult with the Secretary, the National Security Agency, Sector-Specific Agencies and other interested agencies including OMB, owners and operators of critical infrastructure, and other stakeholders through the consultative process established in section 6 of this order. The Secretary, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies shall provide threat and vulnerability information and technical expertise to inform the development of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Secretary shall provide performance goals for the Cybersecurity Framework informed by work under section 9 of this order.

(e) Within 240 days of the date of this order, the Director shall publish a preliminary version of the Cybersecurity Framework (the “preliminary Framework”). Within 1 year of the date of this order, and after coordination with the Secretary to ensure suitability under section 8 of this order, the Director shall publish a final version of the Cybersecurity Framework (the “final Framework”).

(f) Consistent with statutory responsibilities, the Director will ensure the Cybersecurity Framework and related guidance is reviewed and updated as necessary, taking into consideration technological changes, changes in cyber risks, operational feedback from owners and operators of critical infrastructure, experience from the implementation of section 8 of this order, and any other relevant factors.

Sec8Voluntary Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program. (a) The Secretary, in coordination with Sector-Specific Agencies, shall establish a voluntary program to support the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework by owners and operators of critical infrastructure and any other interested entities (the “Program”).

(b) Sector-Specific Agencies, in consultation with the Secretary and other interested agencies, shall coordinate with the Sector Coordinating Councils to review the Cybersecurity Framework and, if necessary, develop implementation guidance or supplemental materials to address sector-specific risks and operating environments.

(c) Sector-Specific Agencies shall report annually to the President, through the Secretary, on the extent to which owners and operators notified under section 9 of this order are participating in the Program.

(d) The Secretary shall coordinate establishment of a set of incentives designed to promote participation in the Program. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary and the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce each shall make recommendations separately to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, that shall include analysis of the benefits and relative effectiveness of such incentives, and whether the incentives would require legislation or can be provided under existing law and authorities to participants in the Program.

(e) Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Secretary and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, shall make recommendations to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, on the feasibility, security benefits, and relative merits of incorporating security standards into acquisition planning and contract administration. The report shall address what steps can be taken to harmonize and make consistent existing procurement requirements related to cybersecurity.

Sec9Identification of Critical Infrastructure at Greatest Risk. (a) Within 150 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall use a risk-based approach to identify critical infrastructure where a cybersecurity incident could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or safety, economic security, or national security. In identifying critical infrastructure for this purpose, the Secretary shall use the consultative process established in section 6 of this order and draw upon the expertise of Sector-Specific Agencies. The Secretary shall apply consistent, objective criteria in identifying such critical infrastructure. The Secretary shall not identify any commercial information technology products or consumer information technology services under this section. The Secretary shall review and update the list of identified critical infrastructure under this section on an annual basis, and provide such list to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs.

(b) Heads of Sector-Specific Agencies and other relevant agencies shall provide the Secretary with information necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this section. The Secretary shall develop a process for other relevant stakeholders to submit information to assist in making the identifications required in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The Secretary, in coordination with Sector-Specific Agencies, shall confidentially notify owners and operators of critical infrastructure identified under subsection (a) of this section that they have been so identified, and ensure identified owners and operators are provided the basis for the determination. The Secretary shall establish a process through which owners and operators of critical infrastructure may submit relevant information and request reconsideration of identifications under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec10Adoption of Framework. (a) Agencies with responsibility for regulating the security of critical infrastructure shall engage in a consultative process with DHS, OMB, and the National Security Staff to review the preliminary Cybersecurity Framework and determine if current cybersecurity regulatory requirements are sufficient given current and projected risks. In making such determination, these agencies shall consider the identification of critical infrastructure required under section 9 of this order. Within 90 days of the publication of the preliminary Framework, these agencies shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Director of OMB, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, that states whether or not the agency has clear authority to establish requirements based upon the Cybersecurity Framework to sufficiently address current and projected cyber risks to critical infrastructure, the existing authorities identified, and any additional authority required.

(b) If current regulatory requirements are deemed to be insufficient, within 90 days of publication of the final Framework, agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section shall propose prioritized, risk-based, efficient, and coordinated actions, consistent with Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and Executive Order 13609 of May 1, 2012 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation), to mitigate cyber risk.

(c) Within 2 years after publication of the final Framework, consistent with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 13610 of May 10, 2012 (Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens), agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section shall, in consultation with owners and operators of critical infrastructure, report to OMB on any critical infrastructure subject to ineffective, conflicting, or excessively burdensome cybersecurity requirements. This report shall describe efforts made by agencies, and make recommendations for further actions, to minimize or eliminate such requirements.

(d) The Secretary shall coordinate the provision of technical assistance to agencies identified in subsection (a) of this section on the development of their cybersecurity workforce and programs.

(e) Independent regulatory agencies with responsibility for regulating the security of critical infrastructure are encouraged to engage in a consultative process with the Secretary, relevant Sector-Specific Agencies, and other affected parties to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.

Sec11Definitions. (a) “Agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

(b) “Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council” means the council established by DHS under 6 U.S.C. 451 to facilitate effective interaction and coordination of critical infrastructure protection activities among the Federal Government; the private sector; and State, local, territorial, and tribal governments.

(c) “Fair Information Practice Principles” means the eight principles set forth in Appendix A of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

(d) “Independent regulatory agency” has the meaning given the term in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

(e) “Sector Coordinating Council” means a private sector coordinating council composed of representatives of owners and operators within a particular sector of critical infrastructure established by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan or any successor.

(f) “Sector-Specific Agency” has the meaning given the term in Presidential Policy Directive-21 of February 12, 2013 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience), or any successor.

Sec12General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. Nothing in this order shall be construed to provide an agency with authority for regulating the security of critical infrastructure in addition to or to a greater extent than the authority the agency has under existing law. Nothing in this order shall be construed to alter or limit any authority or responsibility of an agency under existing law.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) All actions taken pursuant to this order shall be consistent with requirements and authorities to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods. Nothing in this order shall be interpreted to supersede measures established under authority of law to protect the security and integrity of specific activities and associations that are in direct support of intelligence and law enforcement operations.

(d) This order shall be implemented consistent with U.S. international obligations.

(e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

Source: White House

Obama takes control of the internet with Cybersecurity Executive Order

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Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure by increasing information sharing and by jointly developing and implementing a framework of cybersecurity practices with our industry partners.

  • Defense Industrial Base Information Sharing Program Now Open to Other Sectors: The Order expands the voluntary Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.
  • NIST to Lead Development of Cybersecurity Framework: NIST will work collaboratively with critical infrastructure stakeholders to develop the framework relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective.

Partnering with Industry to Protect Our Most Critical Assets from Cyber Attack

Today’s new Executive Order was developed in tandem with the Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience also released today. The Executive Order strengthens the U.S. Government’s partnership with critical infrastructure owners and operators to address cyber threats through:
  • New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.
  • The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services.
The Executive Order also:
  • Includes strong privacy and civil liberties protections based on the Fair Information Practice Principles. Agencies are required to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities under this order. Those safeguards will be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies will conduct regular assessments of privacy and civil liberties impacts of their activities and such assessments will be made public.
  • Establishes a voluntary program to promote the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework. The Department of Homeland Security will work with Sector-Specific Agencies like the Department of Energy and the Sector Coordinating Councils that represent industry to develop a program to assist companies with implementing the Cybersecurity Framework and to identify incentives for adoption.
  • Calls for a review of existing cybersecurity regulation. Regulatory agencies will use the Cybersecurity Framework to assess their cybersecurity regulations, determine if existing requirements are sufficient, and whether any existing regulations can be eliminated as no longer effective. If the existing regulations are ineffective or insufficient, agencies will propose new, cost-effective regulations based upon the Cybersecurity Framework and in consultation with their regulated companies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to leverage the Cybersecurity Framework to consider prioritized actions to mitigate cyber risks for critical infrastructure consistent with their authorities.
Building on Progress 
In May of 2009, President Obama declared our digital infrastructure a strategic national asset and made protecting this infrastructure a national priority. As part of this effort, the Obama Administration has:
  • Created the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center: The NCCIC is a 24-hour, DHS-led coordinated watch and warning center that improves our nation’s ability to address threats and incidents affecting critical infrastructure, the Internet, and cyberspace.
  • Issued the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace: The NSTIC and its programs are creating alternatives to passwords for online services that are more convenient, secure, and privacy enhancing.
  • Submitted to Congress Comprehensive Cybersecurity Legislation: The Administration continues to believe that legislation is needed to fully address this threat. Existing laws do not permit the government to do all that is necessary to better protect our country. The Executive Order ensures that federal agencies and departments take steps to secure our critical infrastructure from cyber attack, as a down-payment on expected further legislative action.

Source: White House

ARGUS Surveillance Camera: 1 million terabytes a day saved forever

ARGUS is the worlds highest resolution camera. 1 million terabytes a day saved forever. Five thousand hours of video surveillance. Saved. All funded by DARPA.

YouTube Description:

The ARGUS array is made up of several cameras and other types of imaging systems. The output of the imaging system is used to create extremely large, 1.8GP high-resolution mosaic images and video.

The U.S. Army, along with
Boeing, has developed and is preparing to deploy a new unmanned aircraft called the “Hummingbird.” It’s is a VTOL-UAS (vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial system). Three of them are being deployed to Afghanistan for a full year to survey and spy on Afghanistan from an altitude of 20,000 feet with the ability to scan 25 square miles of ground surface.

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