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Tech at Night: Darrell Issa, the legislative machine vs Barack Obama’s cowardice on Internet liberty.

Yes, Democrats and Republicans are different.

Tech at Night

Who’s anti-science? We set up a bill to bring in more foreign scientist and engineers through the STEM Act, then pass the bill with virtually no Democrat support, and then get called ‘racist.’ Apparently science degrees are racist now, according to (frankly delusional) Democrats.

And more by the ever-busy Darrell Issa: his Reddit outreach continues as he promotes his two-year legislative and regulatory moratorium in the IAMA act (even the name is a nod to that community). But, based on the linked article, they’re looking for reasons to oppose. Left-‘libertarians’ are too much reflexive fanbois of unchecked state power, when Democrats get to have that power. But, we’ll see.

Oh look, one of Barack Obama’s subordinates has come out against the new ITU treaty, pointing out that the Russians are trying to kill the Internet with it. But, in the end, even Obama’s ambassador would rather cozy up to the ITU than take a stand for liberty. Cowards. Moral cowards with no backbone or love for liberty.

Just contrast Darrell Issa’s constant, bold leadership with what we see from Barack Obama on this. Issa even tried to get some oversight of ITU, and the administration refused to help, locking the representative out. There are clear differences between the parties, folks. Anyone who tell you otherwise, is selling something.

What do you know, it turns out that Leaky Leahy’s EPCA reform bill was written behind closed doors, tossed at Republicans with no negotiation or explanation, and is an opaque mess that needs worked on before it can be supported. I’ve been pretty happy with Chuck Grassley this Congress, and I hope his work highlighting Democrat abuses continues over the next two years. I’m also encouraged to see Mike Lee stepping up on this.

Key provision of Leahy’s bill, which is being sold by the usual suspects as a privacy win: doubling the length of time that government snooping into your emails can be kept secret, from 3 months to 6. Imagine the outcry if Republicans did that. But no, no complaints when Democrats do it.

Spectrum is another area where yes, Republicans are right, and Democrats are wrong. Republicans are pursuing innovative ideas, such as expanding spectrum policymaking from just looking at broadcasters, to also looking at receivers, to make the best use of the scarce resources we have, in an era where spectrum demand is growing at unprecedented levels. What iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 have in common is that all are enabling huge increases in mobile data use, particularly with new LTE technology. We need more spectrum allocated to meet this demand.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to play games with spectrum. When we first got word that FCC might change its spectrum screen, I said it could be good if it meant they’d stop changing the rules in the middle of the game. CLIP points out that nope, they’re still manipulating the system to pick winners and losers whenever they want. Unfortunate, but typical of Obama-era Democrat luddites, who put state power over innovation and growth of wireless Internet technologies that empower ordinary people.

Yup, cybersecurity also means watching for internal threats, not just external ones. It also means good policies to prevent well-meaning insiders from being tricked into aiding outside ‘social engineering’ attacks. But you’re never going to keep up with attackers by passing legislation and regulation, so we need to keep government policy limited to controlling government’s own security measures.

RedState’s own Francis Cianfrocca, quoted in the linked piece, is right in more ways than one when he says “Determined abusers have many ways to make their activities look normal.” That’s true of the insiders this policy is talking about, but it’s also true of outsiders who contact insiders by various means, attempting to get them to use their access in normal-seeming, legitimately-intended ways, to give those outsiders information or access they should not have. That’s “social engineering” as opposed to a tech-based attack. I don’t think that’s what Francis meant when he said that, because actual insider attacks are serious business all by themselves. But I think his focus is in helping government be effective for itself, which is a good goal to have as an industry leader. My focus is on highlighting the limits of what government can do to direct outside business, which I think is a good policy goal to have as an activist.

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