Sunday, June 20, 2010

Should president have Net 'kill switch'? ~ By Joseph Farah

Mr. Obama has wasted no time implementing this destructive, invasive, oppressive worldview where the Internet is concerned. He is, after all, the man who previously sought the power of a collective "off" switch for the Web – in the form of a Senate bill that would give the White House "the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet."

~ Phil Elmore, February 4, 2010, in "Obama's totalitarian plans for the Net"
The above quote was provided to set the stage for Joseph's column. There shouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that the man in the Oval Office along with his minions have a lot of reason to be able to disconnect the Internet. I have to agree with Joseph that it is doubtful that there would be any national security scenario that would provide a good "excuse" to hit the "kill switch." I guess Senator Joe Lieberman must not be aware of US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) under Dept. of Homeland Security. I think they have the cyber-security threats under control, and there would be absolutely NO reason for anyone to need to hit the "Kill Switch" button.  Well, not unless.... ummm... they wanted to cut off all communication so that people wouldn't be able to find out what is going on in a "national emergency." In other words, as Joseph talks about, it's a 1st Amendment issue ONLY.  Just sayin'...

Is the answer to security risks shutting down the nation's No. 1 communications mechanism?

It would seem to me that in almost any national emergency I could envision, the Internet would be a vital resource for every American. Why would any president want it shut down?

I think what we really need is a "kill switch" for Washington's relentless power grabs.

By Joseph Farah

Posted: June 19, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

I guess I'm just an old First Amendment dinosaur – like my friend Nat Hentoff.

I seem to be the only person in the world truly alarmed by a new U.S. Senate bill (not one from the USSR, mind you, but from the U.S. Senate) that would give the president of the United States the authority to shut down the Internet in times of emergency.

Does that seem right to you?

As I understand it, the president already had absolute authority to direct the oil cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico under legislation approved by Congress. How's that working out for everyone?

Do you honestly trust this president of the United States or, for that matter, any president of the United States with that kind of censorship power?

For 230 years, the president didn't have the legislative power to pull the kill switch on the nation's newspapers or, later, the nation's radio airwaves, or, later still, the nation's television signals.

The Internet represents so much more than all of those media combined. It is quickly becoming the central communication resource for everyone. It will soon rival even the telephone for personal communications.

I'm trying to imagine the kind of emergency that would justify the president blinding and deafening 300 million Americans.

Can you figure out what that kind of emergency would look like?

Can you figure out how cutting off all communications would be a positive thing, a life-saving thing, a safety and security measure?

I sure can't.

But I can consult the congressional record to see what people like Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., had to say in justifying this draconian legislation.

He explained that these measures would allow the government "to preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people."


OK, he elaborated: "For all its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies – cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals."

Of course, Lieberman has a lot of knowledge and experience in this area. You might remember, he ran on a presidential ticket with a guy who claimed to have invented the Internet.

I fully acknowledge the threats posed to our country from cyber-warfare. But the ramifications of the president being handed a "kill switch" to disable parts or potentially all of the Internet are far more grave than the threats posed by any enemies.

Terrorists and criminals have also used telephones in plotting their evil deeds. Yet I haven't heard anyone suggest the president have a "kill switch" for all telephone service.


Bookmark and Share

Be sure to check out
johnny2k's Tea Party Gear!

No comments:

Post a Comment