“Sufficient” is a funny word. We hear it so much after it goes through the washing-machine-spinning doublespeak machine. So let’s just say what the Obama administration and the cyber or secret international-communications industry (IT) mean: Enough. Or: “Enough, ENOUGH!” — get off my back now, please . . .
This is what I hear, just as I hear it when my teenaged son answers me on his cell phone with age-appropriate impatience — “Yes, MOM, everything is FINE.” (Meaning: Leave me alone, and how dare you call anyway?)
Put in partisan terms, we could remember the good ol’ New Right/capitalist collusion days, when W. advocated “voluntary” business regulations. After all, the last act of the New Deal — yep, you got it, minimum-wage and maximum-hour legislation in the Fair Labor Standards Act, before FDR lost all political legitimacy and credibility on the home stage — was also “in effect,” I read, “voluntary” (?!), starting with the Reagan Revolution (including Bill). Sweatshop owners were supposed to “turn themselves in,” kinda like ol’ Mitt’s notion of “self-deportation.”
But okay, let me get to the point. The absurdity of self-regulating cybersecurity (and “cyber” should be substituted in our political thesauruses for “secret”) is obvious. If the Obama administration’s announcement that this is sufficient was really enough, I would stop thinking that the next time I shop at Target, I’d better bring cold hard cash to make the transaction convenient. Self-regulating secret-security sounds very Soviet or Stasi to me.
Enjoy reading the White Paper on this one! And while you’re at it, remember to do your homework by reading the nice little Executive Order. And remember the “reassurance” that secret-secret Czar Michael Daniel (his official title is Cybersecurity Coordinator) offers in his blog that is encrypted by anti-anti-non-partisan or bipartisan regulatory doublespeak or a coin toss:
Heads or Side 1: “It does mean that agencies with regulatory authority have determined that existing regulatory requirements, when complemented with strong voluntary partnerships, are capable of mitigating cyber risks to those systems.”
Tails or Side 2: “It does mean that agencies with regulatory authority have determined that existing regulatory requirements, when complemented with strong voluntary partnerships, are capable of mitigating cyber risks to those systems.”
Jeesh. Do Obama and the skeletal White House Obama-administration crew left on the sinking secret-secret-security ship really still think he’s smartest one in the room?
After five years in office, the public is not a little aware of how to translate this bureaucratic triple-speak.