Begich Wary of Presidential Control of Internet

Although Senator Mark Begich(D-AK) voted in favor of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 introduced to the U.S. Senate last summer, he said he’s cautious about how the government might use internet security.


The Act, introduced by Sen. Joe Liberman(I-CT), would establish a National Council who would oversee Cyber Security protocols, likely in public and private sectors. The Act failed to make it through the lame duck session of the Senate, and Sen. Begich (D-AK) said he’s concerned cybersecurity will now be left to the President through Executive Order.


Sen. Begich(D-AK):”You know, I’m a little nervous about that, to be frank with you, because any time you have the President just doing stuff by Executive Order, it could and potentially leaves out the public process, which in Alaska, we get very concerned about, because our privacy is pretty important and people having access to your accounts and other things is not necessarily what we’re interested in, so we have to monitor that very quickly if the President decides to do some things.”


Sen. Begich (D-AK) toed a middle line, saying individual privacy is important, and there is a need to have a form of security in place.


Sen. Begich(D-AK):”We’re very strong on that, as you know, Alaska is one of the only states, Vermont is the only other one, that has protection of privacy in their constitution and I really believe that the government could really overreach here and we have to get on them. That’s why I don’t  support the Patriot Act, as an example, I think that is another full invasion of individual privacy, so I’m very concerned and concerned that… we didn’t debate this bill, that doesn’t mean I necessarily support the bill as written, but I think it’s important that we figure out how to protect the privacy of individuals  recognizing cyber security is a new form of action that by our opposition around the world, but we shouldn’t just let government agencies open up files and look into your computer. That is just not the way we… that is not the way to do business.”

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