Yea, I said it. We need it.
The great firewall in our country would be nothing like the one in China, and here's why. The fundamental difference between our government and Communism in practice is that the government works for us in the US ,and in China the people tend to work for the government (i.e. see what's happening in Hong Kong right now).
We need a firewall that encompasses our country. If you come to this country by land, sea, or air, you need to register yourself, or your entity. It is highly regulated and many are turned away. The internet is that one exception.
If I was appointed by the president to be the internet czar, I would implement such a protection badly needed by our people, our companies and our government resources. We would not only register wired, wireless, and satellite connections in and out of our country, but we would also give a new entity the ability to block traffic that is found to be malicious. This new entity would be made of of both corporate and government staff in an attempt to provide a check and balance against abuse by either party.
We don't want censorship. We want and deserve protection. When malicious activity is detected, and there are many ways to do this, the traffic would be blocked from entering our country the same way a terrorist would hopefully be turned away at our borders. The source would be found out and arrested overseas. If it was a government sponsored event, then sanctions would be put on that government until the activity stops and reparations are made.
The malicious actors would then attempt to setup shop here in our country to avoid the firewall. This is actually already happening anyway because so many foreign IP addresses are being blocked by corporate and government firewalls. Unfortunately, due to the lack of sophistication by many IT employees and a lack of solid programming by many manufacturers, this attempt is failing. This can be seen by the hacks into POS systems at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, Michael's, and dozens more affecting just about every citizen in our country in one way or another. We deserve better.
We would then put the same type of firewall in all 50 states and it would be monitored and blocked by an interstate commerce group that would be similar to the federal level. If states decide an intrastate entity is also important they can choose to enact that as well.
At this point the government is not working in a concerted effort with businesses to protect our data resources. This has led to millions of bank accounts emptied and credit cards compromised. This needs to change and Homeland Security needs to start working with businesses to protect us. If they say they are already doing this then they need to be replaced by people who have real capability. If they are not doing this, as I suspect, then more money needs to be poured into this area before our next war.
The next war with a country who has any type of sophistication is going to be partially fought on a cyber basis. If we can cripple the enemy in this way we can keep communication and electronics from working effectively shutting down their financial system, government, and military. The same can be done to us. Over a terabyte data is stolen each year from the department of defense, and that's only the data we know about.
It's time for some real protection and it can be done without censorship if it is properly implemented by our brightest technical minds, and not appointees who have no real IT skills.