Dy’er Sez: A cyber-security bill, being touted as the Federal “Kill Switch” for the internet itself, may be attached to a defense spending bill in order to lower resistance to it’s passage according to Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE).
The bill asserts new governmental controls of the web in the name of cyber-security and the war on terror, and gives the President the power to declare a “cyber-emergency” which would, in effect, give the Executive branch full control of the internet (including the leeway to shut it down) during said “emergency”.
Within the last few years, there have been a great many attacks on free speech and expression (“free-speech” zones for protests come to mind– as if there was a constitutional provision to restrict the first amendment to certain areas decreed by the government). Most of these attacks, it seems, have been aimed at the internet.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (a co-author of the bill) was asked about bill on CNN and claimed that the insinuation that the bill would harm free speech online was misinformation. Then he followed up that statement by stating that China had the ability to shut down it’s internet and that the US government should have the same thing.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller also mused on C-Span that perhaps the internet should never have existed. If you watch the big three networks for news, there has been a lot of rhetoric bandied about by the talking heads that the internet should be controlled, patrolled, and that there needs to be some sort of “gate-keeper” to what information gets out on the web.
I’ll bet dimes to dollars that when the Guttenberg press was rolled out about 500 years ago, there was the same sort of talk going on among those in charge. Those conversations probably weren’t couched in politico-speak, nor were they broadcast to the masses; but all it takes is a brief glance at history to know that the powers that be of the dim and distant past moved in a similar direction to that which we are seeing now from the power brokers of our modern times.
The free exchange of ideas has always been anathema to the merchants, priests, and politicians because it always seems to lead to an inevitable revolution of the masses. And considering the tone of the masses of late, not only in the US but around the world, they have every reason to be concerned…and, maybe, more than a little afraid.
Story from Raw Story:
Congress may sneak through Internet ‘kill switch’ in defense bill
By Daniel Tencer
Saturday, August 28th, 2010
A federal cybersecurity bill that critics say creates a presidential “kill switch” for the Internet could be added on to a defense spending bill and passed without much debate, technology news sources report.
Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), one of the sponsors of the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, told GovInfoSecurity.com that the Senate is considering attaching the bill as a rider to a defense authorization bill likely to pass through Congress before the mid-term elections.
“It’s hard to get a measure like cybersecurity legislation passed on its own,” Carper said.
Carper, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced the bill in June in an effort to combat cyber-crime and the threat of online warfare and terrorism. Critics say the bill would allow the president to disconnect Internet networks and force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures. Future US presidents would have those powers renewed indefinitely.
The bill (PDF) states that Internet service providers, search engines and other Internet-related businesses “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security.