Thanks for responding Oli! I agree that this is likely the reason for a resistance to the concept of a national government-controlled firewall. I admit, now that I call it “government-controlled” instead of “American” firewall — it sounds a lot worse!
However, despite the reservations, the police are still government-controlled as is the military — and they have guns! Despite the inherent distrust, we still expect government to perform the most basic of functions which is simply security. Security from crime, security from our enemies. If we can’t trust the government to secure us — well that starts down a slippery slope starting with “then what are they there for?”
The Ben Franklin quote is excellent! I think it points out the subjectivity of whether you consider safety from losing your life or livelihood from hacking a “little temporary safety” (vs. a vital permanent safety) or whether the firewall would cause a loss of “essential liberty”, or instead just keep the bad guys out. I think it is this subjectivity that also contributes to the lack of urgency or demand of the government to protect us. Unfortunately, only a catastrophic cyber attack will turn the subjective objective.
With regards to loss of essential liberty, I would point out (having just watched “The Creepy Line” documentary on Amazon), that that sort of stuff is already happening with private companies such as Facebook and Google — and we don’t even realize it in that case. At least if it was the government there’d be some accountability, in theory.