Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google services all have been disrupted by Egyptian governing authorities in
pursuit of clamping down on protests. And we don’t think
the U.S. government would do the same?
Tell me, what’s the difference between the Egyptian government’s shutting down social networks to “bring
order” to protests and the U.S. government’s shutting
down the Internet if there is an “imminent cyber threat”? Answer: nothing.
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has ramped up regulation and control of the Internet. Of
course, it’s packaging any bids to do so under
Internet and homeland security.
But when does homeland security breach its
constitutional limits of power and your rights
as a citizen? How much authority can the feds
be granted to “take over” a civilian network in
case of an emergency?
First, there was Sen. John Rockefeller’s
Cybersecurity Act of 2009. That legislation
gave the president executive privilege and
power to shut down civilian infrastructure if
he deems it necessary.
Then there was the “more moderate”
Protecting Cyberspace as a National
Asset Act of 2010, proposed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman and other senators.
Now Lieberman and his cronies are decrying any parallels between the Egyptian
Internet crackdown and their Internet kill switch bill. They released a statement
Feb. 1 saying emergency measures in their bill would only apply in a “precise
and targeted way” to “critical infrastructure” to ensure that important assets
and civilian networks “are protected from destruction.” Their legislation would
only allow the president to use emergency authority if there were an “ongoing
or imminent” attack that would “cause local or national catastrophic effects” if
there were a disruption.
And neither Obama (or any future president) nor Congress would ever abuse or build
on that autocratic cease-and-desist decision, right?
Two days before Christmas 2010 (isn’t its dodging timing uncanny?), the Obama
administration issued yet new “network neutrality” regulations for Internet service
providers. Of course, Julius Genachowski, President Barack Obama’s appointee
as Federal Communications Commission chairman, introduced these new regulations
with the pure motive of guaranteeing equal access to the Internet, right? I agree with
Sen. Jim DeMint, who says the FCC should be renamed the “Fabricating a Crisis
Commission.”
Seeing a pattern yet?