Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Power Grab Continues: Control of the Internet

"...allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network...But the bill is unclear about how broad the president's power is. And what's more troubling to some is the application of emergency responses used in other situations to an area that has never faced that kind of security test." [link]

I find it troubling that this type of legislation is floating around. It is just as troubling the vague language used. For example "critical infrastructure information system or network", couldn't that just as easily be read as "internet". Especially if you look at the internet as a tool for banking, purchasing, trading stocks, etc... Also, how many ISP providers are the local and/or regional telephone companies? Wouldn't the government consider those "critical infrastructure"? ISP service through satellite or cable providers "critical infrastructure" by saying these mediums need to be able to function in order to broadcast "news and information" in case of an actual emergency?

The case could very easily be made that this authority would indeed allow the president to order the shut down of the internet. Should we even consider the words of the new FCC czar, Mark Lloyd, "It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press,” he said. “This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.” [link]

I will let you draw your own conclusions.