Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is using Hurricane Sandy to attempt to make the case for more government controls over the Internet.
Earlier this week, Napolitano compared the power outages that are currently taking place in parts of New York City and the rest of the Northeast to what might happen if terrorists launched a cyberattack on power grids.
“If you think a control-system attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities,” she said at a cybersecurity conference, POLITICO reports. The damage can be “life threatening.”
Napolitano echoed the sentiments of other Barack Obama Administration officials who have been talking about the need for more government Internet controls over the past month as a cybersecurity executive order is reportedly already ready for the President to sign.
In October, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” could be looming if the government is not allowed more power to control the Internet.
He warned, “An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”