Should the present bill indeed do the things you say it does, I'm against it. I'm against any bill that does such things as you say this bill does. According to Grinch, this bill does not do those things, and you haven't given him a clear reply as to why he should believe otherwise. The authority you cite is without source and is hence as likely to be from The American Thinker as it is from The Economist or some other source with good research standards and only a moderate ax to grind. I would be curious to know.
According to the Summary of The PATRIOT Act I quoted above, and whose link you may follow, it seems pretty clear that the PATRIOT Act actually does seem to have some of the surprises you impute to this newer legislation. Including the references to banking and other things that you find so very objectionable.
You offered me a yes or no challenge, Mike, without offering your opinion in as open a fashion on The PATRIOT Act. While I didn't have the references or materials at hand to make the decision at hand that you certainly should have supplied to make it a fair request, I did do the best I could to give you a straight answer.
If you want to do this sort of thing again, I'd appreciate it if you'd try to offer the same sort of background that I offered you. I don't want to think of this sort of thing as a debate, although I suppose it could be, but an attempt to get an honest expression of what the truth is as I see it. I hope this is a good faith answer for you, and that it gives you some notion of how I feel about the issue.
I don't like anything that abridges liberty or constitutional rights. From either side of the aisle. I still get angry about the stuff we did with the Japanese Americans during World War II. I have never been happy about the alliance the Democrats made with the Dixiecrats that kept the Democrats in power for so long.
I don't like abuses of power period, especially by my own party, which ought to know better.
That doesn't mean that I like them by Republicans very much better at all, at all; and the PATRIOT Act was one of them. And most of the stuff that you're finding wrong with this current piece of legislation, I suspect, aren't in the current piece of legislation, but sure as all get out are in the PATRIOT Act.
Why would private citizen's health records be at risk of a cyber attack?
Medicine is one of the largest sectors of the economy. If records of who has been treated for what are destroyed, then it's an attack on the insurance industry, which is a lynchpin of the economy. Nobody knows who has been billed for what, and what has been payed for. Even if nobody goes under, it freezes the health care and the insurance industries in their tracks for a very long time and puts that sector of the economy back on a cash basis. Do you have money to pay cash for the various medical stuff you need and are likely to need? It's like throwing a slinky into somebody's bicycle gears. Don't think one set of medical records, think many sets of medical records.
I'm curious as to what private information network would be part of the "critical infrastructure.
Think credit information networks, which have a lot to say about how much a given person will pay for anything on a credit card. Think of Bank Credit systems, which keep track of who owes how much money to whom. What happens if the savings of everybody in New York was suddenly transfered to the accounts of everybody in Detroit, or the debts of everybody in Milwalkee ended up in your bank account. While these structures are fairly well guarded, they certainly are vulnerable to a well planned and executed assault that could spread to a nationwide economic meltdown fairly quickly. It doesn't have to be on the Army or Navy or on secure satellite systems to do enormous damage. What about an assault on air traffic control computers systems, or the electrical grids that control and back up these systems?
What about attacks on water treatment plant control centers or on hydro-power centers which could put down the electrical grids for large sections of the country at once?
Actually, these things are important, and you aren't thinking this particular issue through.
I don't know that these solutions are the ones that must be adopted. That's another question, Mike. I think that oversight and defense of these things, however, is part of a prudent defensive strategy. But to pretend there is no issue is unrealistic.
To return briefly to the issue I raised above about The PATRIOT Act, "Do you think that these provisions have been used as authorized? I for one think there are many more upsetting provisions in the act than these." If you need more more clarification, there is clarification available in the posting in question.
Sincerely, Bob Kaven
[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-06-2009 10:56 PM).]