The more I read about the Cyber Security Act of 2012, the more my knee-jerk, Libertarian-based opposition seems well placed. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the Department of Homeland Security picking and choosing who will and will not abide by this newly proposed legislation, as this entire proposal seems just a little too prone to corruption.
Yes, I am aware of the security risks involved with not properly securing some of our nation's most vital infrastructure, but I am extremely doubtful that this proposed legislation does anything positive in terms of our nation's overall security posture. Would it be devastating if AT&T were to be hacked by a hostile foreign government? No doubt. But this is really a moot point, as AT&T is rumored to have a rather robust security infrastructure in place to prevent such catastrophic scenarios. What those with influence within the security industry seem to be most concerned with are the smaller organizations across the country that often times have little in the way of resources to devote to some of the more advanced security concepts being practiced today. A rather valid concern I must concede. However, what those on the proponent side of this argument refuse to concede is that more regulation tends to favor larger entities such as AT&T, Google, Exxon, etc. How can I make such an assertion?
Well, if one were to simply look at this intuitively, one would only need to ask, "Who is better equipped to absorb the costs of new regulation mandated by Uncle Sam? Exxon or the neighborhood mom-and-pop down the street?" If one were to answer Exxon, then that person would be 100% correct. In fact, if one were to look into other similar regulatory scenarios involving American industry in general, one will find that many of our nation's corporate behemoths are clandestinely behind much of the regulation that is handed down by Washington D.C.
What?! How can this be? I thought corporate America was in lock step opposition to all regulation? No sir. This is a very commonly held misconception, and I'll write more about this in my next post.