There is a lot going on the world right now and all eyes are on Egypt – but while the eyes are on Egypt, Obama is trying to sneak through the same power that Egypt is using to suppress freedom, communication and information – the internet kill switch.
A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.
So Obama wants the power to kill the internet while criticizing Egypt for doing the exact same thing – hypocrisy? You bet it is.
Now here is a scary part…
The revised version includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems “shall not be subject to judicial review.” Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include “provider of information technology,” and a third authorized the submission of “classified” reports on security vulnerabilities.
Did you catch that part? It said “shall not be subject to judicial review” note that word ‘NOT’ – now that’s scary – it gives the government power to act outside the confines of the law and it light of what happened in Egypt this is a piece of legislation that needs to go away. No one person should have the power to kill communitarian and information and no matter how mach the government tries to assure you that it’s only for emergencies and your rights and freedoms are paramount and will be safeguarded… do you believe them?
But could it happen here… some say not really…
Now, the purpose of the bill is not, of course, to allow the president to undermine the freedom of speech, or to limit the ability of people to protest. The bill (which doesn’t use the term “kill switch” itself) is in the name of cybersecurity, and allows the president to declare a state of national cyberemergency. The legislation calls for the establishment of a “list of systems or assets that constitute critical infrastructure.” Homeland Security would only add systems to the list if 1) disruption of the system could cause “severe economic consequences,” 2) the system is “a component of the national information infrastructure,” and 3) the “national information infrastructure is essential to the reliable operation of the system.”
But there are those that think differently…
For the layperson, information technology is “the use of technologies from computing, electronics, and telecommunications to process and distribute information in digital and other forms.” If it seems as though “provider of information technology” is applicable to literally any website you’ve ever been on, that’s because it is. And if the comprehensiveness of the list of those sites potentially subject to government intervention wasn’t enough, the legislation also includes clauses for government secrecy and unaccountability; that judicial review has gone by the wayside serves as a clear indication that this legislation is intended to envelop the private sector.
So based on the language of the bill could Obama shut the internet down? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out – it’s another over reaching piece of legislation we don’t need, because there is always a better way.
As Egypt’s government attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the internet.
The legislation, which would grant US President Barack Obama powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a senate committee, Wired.com reported.
As usual we have to go to foreign media to get the story… typical – but guess what if Obama had his why in events HE deems to be an emergency we would even be able to do that. It would be 1976 again with a unqualified and clueless President supported by the mainstream media spouting the propaganda of the administration with no one saying anything different.