George Will wrote an interesting column on folly of government pursuing rules and executive actions to achieve impossible goals. Here is key paragraph in the typical Will style:
Gulliver’s travels took him to the Academy of Lagado, where “professors contrive new rules and methods” for everything: “One man shall do the work of ten; a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last forever without repairing. All the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season we think fit to choose, and increase a hundredfold more than they do at present.” There was, however, the “inconvenience” that “none of these projects” had yet come to fruition and “the whole country lies miserably waste.” But “instead of being discouraged,” people were “fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes,” which included “extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers.”
So laws requiring the “xxx insure the bulk electric system is protected from all threats” or “be protected in a manner that no cyber attack can cause a significant outage” would be Lagodian. The Will article made me review the pending legislation for such utopian statements, and to Congress’s credit, my cursory review found no glaring examples. If you find any please put them in the blog comments.
The closest could be some of the items like the critical infrastructure security dashboard that are serious technical challenges but definitely not impossible. There is nothing wrong with stretch goals for something as important as critical infrastructure security.
So while I’m still a skeptic on regulation as an effective and efficient solution, kudos to Congress for avoiding the temptation to try to legislate utopia.