Specious Pretenses of Justice….

As I listen to each new maneuvering by the Grand old Plutocratic party, a ringing phrase used to characterize Diocletian, the last Roman Emperor but one before Constantine, (38th and 40th) [by Gibbon, in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” ] occurs:

He possessed ” the great art of …coloring his own interests with the most specious pretenses of justice and public utility…”
The latest, from the land of speciousness, are arguments from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans in the House that big companies should not be told, in the name of national security, to institute certain security measures to help stop the onslaught of cyber-hacking: this would be ‘regulation’ and regulation is bad.  Tax breaks would be much more helpful….
Daniel Gaynor at the SF Chron catches us up:
Congress is debating two cybersecurity bills in the Senate. …

 Today, gas pipelines, nuclear power plants and water systems are all connected to computer systems. If those systems are hacked, there can be devastating consequences.

The Senate bills represent a real opportunity to reach a bipartisan solution on cybersecurity. The first bill is supported by conservatives in Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the second is backed by a bipartisan group of senators. Yet, even with the threat of cyber-attack being well established, partisan bickering may derail real progress from happening.

One of the clearest points of contention is whether to create minimal security standards for critical infrastructure – like gas pipes, nuclear power plants and subway systems. The chamber would prefer not to have required cybersecurity protection for all infrastructure providers, 85 percent of which are private companies. To the chamber and conservatives, protection requires regulation, and regulation is always a bad thing. In their view, requiring infrastructure providers to step up their cybersecurity defense is an added cost, not a long-term investment in public safety.

The bipartisan bill takes a more realistic approach. It would establish a base level of cybersecurity for infrastructure providers, fortifying the systems we rely on – our electricity grid, for example – from cyber-attacks. The bill recognizes a key fact: Hackers are targeting businesses and infrastructure providers. Indeed, the cost of global cyber-attacks, at $114 billion annually, is more than the annual global market for marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined.

The chamber should know the dangers of being unprepared: In 2010, Chinese hackers broke into its internal networks, stealing private information on its 3 million member businesses.

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And if you don’t believe someone in the “liberal” San Francisco Chronicle, how about Bloomberg News? Read more of this post