January 13, 2011
Howard A. Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cyber Security Coordinator, announced a new PSA video challenge from Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Schmidt called for videos to target a particular audience (i.e. teens, young adults, parents or older Americans) and address the topic of internet security concentrating on the nebulous catch phrase ‘Stop. Think. Connect’.
The vague call for both online vigilance and educational video entries makes no reference to a specific type of threat such as terrorism or identity theft. Like many preceding campaigns headed by DHS, the latest scare tactic is designed to put the public into a state of mind where they must constantly question their individual safety.
“People cannot value security without first understanding how much is at risk. Therefore, the Federal government should initiate a national public awareness and education campaign…This campaign should focus on public messages to promote responsible use of the Internet and awareness of fraud, identity theft, cyber predators, and cyber ethics.”
–White House Cyberspace Policy Review June 2009
This is the same agency that hyped terrorism to such a fever pitch they were able to successfully create legislation to circumvent the most revered collection of laws our country holds at the heart of national identity: The Bill of Rights. And they have clearly taken aim on taking down the internet.
Excerpt from Stop. Think. Connect site:
“Stop. Think. Connect.” is about taking a moment to stop and think about the places we visit online, the information that we share, and the communities in which we participate before and while we are connected to the Internet.
The above quote clearly aims at forcing users to question the content they access online.
This is not to say that users shouldn’t be concerned with online security. There are numerous pitfalls facing internet users but do they really constitute a national security risk?
Our biggest privacy concerns should be focused on corporate America, DHS and our own federal government. Afterall, these are the entities using internet technology to spy on every man, woman and child participating in the communication revolution. These are the organizations accessing user data, a practice that would be illeagal if it weren’t for legislation like The Patriot Act, and using it for their own agendas without warrant or permission.
This campaign is part of an overall plan to identifying the need for the centralized control of both the web and the citizens who use it.
There are several references on the ‘stop.think.connect’ site calling for the responsible use of the net by global citizens.
Capitalizing on popular phenomena like Wikileaks and the Tucson shooting, our government makes a strong case for unusual security measures. The well oiled spin machine has become truly adept at turning citizenry against each other by monopolizing on tragic or unusual events.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
— Rahm Emmanuel
So we must be vigilant to not let opportunistic programs like ‘Stop. Think. Connect’ to take hold of public consciousness by remembering this well tread quote:
“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”