Internet Kill Switch one Step Closer to Reality

Posted: June 25, 2010 in Internet Kill Switch, Politics
Tags: , , , , ,

While media and public attention is focused on the environmental crisis in the gulf, Joe Lieberman’sBill “The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset” has passed committee and headed for the senate floor for voting. 

The Senators pushing the bill rejected the claim that the bill was a ‘kill switch’ for the Internet, not by denying that Obama would be given the authority to shut down the Internet as part of this legislation, but by arguing that he already had the power to do so. 

“That the President already had authority under the Communications Act to “cause the closing of any facility or station for wire communication” when there is a “state or threat of war”, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Fears that legislation bringing the Internet under the regulatory power of the U.S. government is an offensive against free speech Lieberman told CNN’s Candy Crowley  China can shut down the internet, why can’t we?

The real agenda behind the bill is calculated and premeditated to strangle the runaway growth of alternative and independent media outlets, which are exposing government atrocities, cover-ups, and cronyism like never before. Indeed, China uses similar rhetoric about the need to maintain “security” and combating cyber warfare by regulating the web, when in reality the entire program is focused around silencing anyone who criticizes the state.

If existing legislation previously is in play, why does the government need broader legislation given to the President without congressional approval to shut down the internet for four months? 

Government intentions behind this bill can only be the suffocation of independent media outlets that are now competing with and even displacing “Main Stream” press organs, with websites like the Drudge Report now attracting more traffic than many large newspapers combined.

The FTC is running for cover in the wake of reports it plans to tax websites and electronic devices in order to rescue dead tree dinosaur corporate media. FTC head honcho Jon Leibowitz nixed the proposals during testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, reports the Washington Times. “I think that’s a terrible idea,” said Leibowitz when asked about the taxes on Wednesday.

The backpedaling is not surprising, as the suggestions coming out of the headquarters at 600 Pennsylvania Ave. are about as unpopular as they come in Washington. A poll released Tuesday by Rasmussen Reports found that three out of four of those surveyed opposed taxing gadgets. About the same amount opposed the Drudge Tax. “The American people have absolutely no interest in taxing new media or consumer electronics to prop up an industry that’s clearly on its way out,” pollster Scott W. Rasmussen said in an interview.

It is the duty of every American to oppose this bill for what it is an attack on free speech and the right of independent media to hold government accountable for its actions.

Probing the intentions of this bill under a microscope and the possibility for misuse by the government, as clearly stated by Lieberman’s comparison to China raises many issues that congress has failed to consider. The repercussions against grass root political organisations to raise funds for candidates, much as Obama did during the election should not go unnoticed or ignored.  

The new media that was spawned through the internet, blogs such as this one and E commerce each face the prospective of registering with official government censors or white listed web sites as government control is increasingly exercised over the liberties ingrained in the constitution. The World Wide Web good and bad has clearly advanced communication and allowed for individuals to expose corruption in government and also increase support for grass root political parties fatigued with a two party system.

On the surface this bill makes sense to anyone who gets their news in 30 second sound bites, but a detailed look at this bill and the potential for the sitting President without congressional approval to shut down the internet for four months should concern everyone. Especially during re-election or some perceived national emergency, this would cause untold billions of dollars lost in economic trade through e commerce and things we take for granted such as e-mail and text messaging would be lost as well. 

Most importantly of all, the independent and alternative media currently reporting on the governments attacks on liberty and civil rights would be silenced. It is time we looked in the mirror and asked, if not me then who.


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