Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Czar

Obama to create cyber czar in awareness effort

Czar is the name of the Russia kings. Hereditary monarchical rulers with dictatorial powers. The name is supposed to trace back to the name Caesar, who was the dictator of Rome, after he overthrew the Roman Senate and the concept of a republic there.

I saw one report awhile back that Obama had appointed some 17 or so 'czars'. Here comes another one.

These 'czars' are anti-democratic here too. They bypass the system that was set to give Congress checks and balances over executive power. As the founders set up the system, the cabinet officials were the heads of various sections of the government. With this understanding, Congress was given the power and the requirement to confirm cabinet officials. All of these 'czars' are appointed just by Obama with no Congressional approval required.

The AP article is of course written from the assumption that we absolutely must have cyber czar. The only questions asked in the article are from 'opponents' who feel this post won't have enough power. The question that maybe no government official should have this power doesn't make the AP's mindset.

Enter Stage Right: The "Cyber Czar" from the Electronic Frontier Foundation gives a bit of a different point of view.

Sen. Rockefeller has proposed a bill that would give sweeping powers. The power to access any data anywhere. As well as the power to shut down the internet whenever the government declares an emergency. That sort of stuff.

Sometimes its amazing to watch how the US treats the internet and freedom of information in ways very similar to China. The whole debate of Net Neutrality is on the same lines. Should the corporations that own the hardware of the internet be able to control the content you watch. To me, the 'news' on cable TV, where these same corporations already decide which channels you get to see (Fox News, CNN) and which you don't get to see (Al-Jazeera, other foreign news, Free Speech TV, etc), this news is worthless and almost all propaganda.

So, many people start going to the internet to get news from other sources. And, amazingly enough, there is now a move from the corporations that want to control the internet to be able to limit what you can see over the internet. They want the power to make a deal where CNN pays to come in full blast over your computer, while other, non-corporate approved channels would come in at best much slower, if not blocked entirely.

Sounds a lot like China to me. Or, back in the days of the Soviet Union when the government treated fax machines and copying machines as threats to the state.

So, now we get a 'cyber czar' with the power to control the internet. Everyone shout "Hail Caesar!"

Obama’s new war doctrine: ‘Cyber dominance’from AFP via

Notice the goal. Its not freedom. Its not democracy. Its not a new interactive form of communications that empowers people. Nope, its 'dominance'. Specifically, the 'dominance' of the US military. Hail Caesar!

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