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New Law Allows Emergency Government Take-Over of Internet

sjohnson
69 Comments

Posted August 28, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

President Barack Obama

When our so-called "president" (born in Kenya!) Barack Obama gets finished installing mandatory death panels to kill everyone over 40, he's going to take over the entire internet and force youtube to only broadcast 1970s Soviet Worker Education Films. Or so fear some of the more jittery/dumb segments of the nation's population.

Over the last few months, a U.S. Senate sub-committee has been revising a Bill that details how the government can respond to cyber-terrorism attacks. The provisions in the bill that worry some allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and to basically take over the internet until the threat is ended. The bill will also force some private companies in sensitive areas of the internet to only hire people who have previously been certified by the government.

Section 201 permits the president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security."

As you'd probably expect, Conservatives and Internet privacy advocates don't like the legislation. Lee Tien, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, said:  "As soon as you're saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it's going to be a really big issue."

When Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, she and co-author Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) claimed it was vital to protecting national cybersecurity. "We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs--from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records," the bi-partisan pair said.

I have a feeling that if Bush had signed this Bill a few years ago, a lot of liberals would be shouting about how he was taking over the Internetwebz so he could shut down Michael Moore's website!! Just as I imagine we'll hear Conservatives yelling about how Obama wants to close down  the AARP's website or NASCAR.com or whatever they like to read on the Net.

Everyone should chill. The sky is not falling. Obama will not take over AOL. The government is just trying to be prepared for a future cyber attack that's more serious than a 4Chan raid.... or so I think. Maybe you feel differently. Please respond in our comment section.

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New Law Allows Emergency Government Take-Over of Internet
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