Sunday, April 5, 2009

Should Obama Control the Internet?

Should Obama Control the Internet? on

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any "critical" information network "in the interest of national security." The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

By now, we all know that in the time of war, all of our so-called 'media', will repeat the government's message uncritically and with no investigation. We all know that the 'media' will block any alternative points of view from being heard. We all saw this quite clearly in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003. And, various crisis' since, like the question of bombing Iran, have shown us that nothing has changed.

The one place where people have been able to turn for alternative news, facts that are 'inconvenient' to the government (like Iraq not having WMD's for example), and other points of view has been the internet.

So, now the US government feels it needs the power to shut down the internet by executive fiat any time it feels there is a crisis.

We have to be aware that sometimes rule by the Democrats can be much more dangerous than rule by the Republicans. If this had been Bush proposing this drastic curtailment of freedom, there would have been loud screaming from all sectors.

A democracy can only exist if citizens have access to information. A democracy is supposed to be a system where the power resides with the people, and in order to exercise that power, the citizens need good information about what is really happening. Any move to try to shut down access to such information is a direct blow to democracy in America.

If you want to know what's 'anti-American', you are looking at it.

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