Sunday, February 20, 2011

President's Day Brings O-man A New Internet “Kill Switch”

Cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, e-commerce, on-line banking - all hooked up to one switch on the President's desk – just like Egypt

Washington – Nobody paid much attention back on December 21 when the FCC's Net Neutrality Act passed 3-2 along party lines.

Sixty days later, on President's Day, Monday, February 21, 2011, it's the law: If President Obama wants to kill the internet with its websites, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and blogs, all cell phone connections and, and completely shut down e-commerce, on-line banking and social networking, all he has to do is throw the switch.

Just as President Hosni Mubarak did in Egypt, the chief executive of the U.S. now has the legal capability to plunge the entire nation into the dark ages – as if the cybernetic revolution, telephones, telegraph, television and radio never came along to start with.

“We now have a Federal Communications Commission that is openly hostile to our First Amendment rights,” according to “Conservative Action Alerts.”

Under executive orders promulgated by cold war Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, the President has had the capability of shutting down all communications, private and commercial, in case of war. Now, the President can do it for any old reason.

It's not over until it's over, however.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have rallied behind a Resolution of Disapproval drafted by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), and in the Senate by Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), John Ensign (R-NV), and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

As such, it's filibuster proof.

They are calling for the bipartisan support of citizens concerned enough to fax their disapproval of the Kill Switch Law.

According to “Conservative Action Alerts,” “Three federal judges warned the FCC before they passed the Net Neutrality Act. They believe the Internet has First Amendment protection, exactly the same as printed media – so what is next for Abama? Assuming control of our newspapers and magazines?”

“As we saw in Egypt, a 'kill switch' can have overwhelmingly disastrous consequences. You, as an individual, would be drastically affected; but think of the millions of businesses that depend upon th eInternet for their commerce. The fallout would literally cripple the already shaky U.S. economy.”

Under the new law, the President would need Congressional approval to extend the kill switch order past 120 days, just like any other war power.

The law also establishes a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with private U.S. companies to create cybersecurity requirements for the electrical grid, telecommunications and networks and other critical infrastructure.

The legislation would also give the Department of Homeland Security authority that it did not previousl have to respond to cyber-attacks, according to a key sponsor of the bill, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

“Our responsibility for cyber defence goes well beyond the public sector because so much of cyberspace is owned and operated by the private sector,” Senator Lieberman said on the day the Senate committee upon which he serves gave the amended bill unanimous passage. “The Department of Homeland Security has actually shown that vulnerabilities in key private sector networks like utilities and communications could shut the economy down for a period of time if attacked or commandeered by a foreign power or cyber terrorists.”

No comments:

Post a Comment