Jun 07 2009

Obama part 3: a plagiary of President Clinton’s virus hype, 11 years later

The U.S. president still can't tell you a simple number
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In 1998, I bashed President Clinton’s speech where he made a hysterical assertion that “[criminals] extort money by threats to unleash computer viruses. If we fail to take strong action…” Clinton then announced a directive inspired by a flawed presidential report.

Eleven years later, President Obama repeated history in a speech where he made a hysterical assertion and then announced a directive inspired by a flawed presidential report.

Obama’s cyber­security speech is essen­tially the same as Bill Clinton’s speech 11 years ago — right down to the debut of a flawed presi­den­tial report…

In part 1 and part 2 of this series, I revealed Obama spouted an urban legend about cyber-terrorism and he spouted a bizarre “$1 trillion” guesstimate for computer crime.

But where did the president get this hysteria? Obama’s top intelligence advisor all but admits it didn’t come from government sources. Obscure footnotes in the president’s report reveal:

  • Obama’s “$1 trillion” guesstimate came from a McAfee press release — a company not involved in economic assessments.
  • Obama’s urban legend that “cyber attacks have plunged entire cities into darkness” came from a SANS newsletter that cited a CIA analyst who gave absolutely no details whatsoever.

This forces us to ask two philosophical questions. First, why didn’t Obama’s cybersecurity report cite a respected government economics expert? Second, why didn’t Obama’s cybersecurity report directly cite the CIA analyst who gave absolutely no details whatsoever?

Remember this, folks. Obama’s “$1 trillion” guesstimate comes from McAfee, the very same company that insists email spam contributes to global warming — and that secretly armed China with computer viruses at a time when the White House ironically feared China would attack the U.S. with computer viruses.

The flaws in President ClintonObama’s cybersecurity report fail to impress me, and the hysteria in President ClintonObama’s speech fails to move me. Enough said.

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