This morning at 10 AM, click here to watch a webcast of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security as they hold a hearing on cybersecurity. 6 of the 7 witnesses are either government security officials or representatives from corporate security firms. Just 1 of the 7 witnesses is a civil liberties expert. That witness, Greg Nojeim, warned in May 2009 testimony before the House of Representatives:
With respect to private systems, it is further necessary when developing policy responses to draw appropriate distinctions between the elements of “critical infrastructure” that primarily support free speech and those that do not. The characteristics that have made the Internet such a success – its openness, decentralized and user controlled nature and its support for innovation and free expression – may be put at risk if heavy?handed cybersecurity policies are enacted that apply uniformly to all “critical infrastructure.”
Well, that’s not exciting, is it? Come on, Mr. Nojeim, where are the cybertickingbombs and the cyberexplosions and the cybercarchases and the cybersecretagents with cybercleavage? Expect Mr. Nojeim, to be either ignored or questioned in a hostile manner, except perhaps by Senator Dick Durbin.
For the rest of the hearing, expect a whole lot of talk about scary cyberterrorists, about how frightening the prospect of cyberattacks is, about the secret development of weapons of mass cyberdestruction, and about the necessity of waging the sort of cyberwar that — just coincidentally, mind you — would keep 6 out of the 7 witnesses before the Senate secure and well-paid in their jobs.