There are more power grab attempts taking place right under our collective noses. The only reason that some of us know about these bills and plans is due to the Internet and the investigative reporting by bloggers and online journalists.
CNET.com recently came across a bill that was drafted by Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia. This bill is significantly smaller than those that have been getting pummeled down our throats and rushed through congress in the recent months. The bill is only 55 pages long and some of the provisions in this draft make sense, but others raise serious concerns.
The section in question is the one which would give the president complete control of the Internet should a cybersecurity threat or emergency arise.
The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.
“I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”
Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller’s aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.
This should raise red flags for everyone on both sides of the aisle. Not only could this be a hindrance on our freedom of speech via the Internet, but this gives the central government complete control of an important information gathering tool that has been predominantly unregulated, and has worked quite well for people of all ages to stay informed no matter what ideological side one may fall on.
If this bill were to pass and ultimately there was an instance where the President deemed it necessary to control the Internet, there is no telling, at what point, the control would stop. There is also no telling who will have that very same control in the next 4 or 8 years when new presidential elections take place and the pendulum swings.
Who would decide what’s an emergency and what is not? The current administration and cabinet positions are so heavily politicized, that it wouldn’t surprise me if a crisis was created just to stifle dissent on the Internet.
The government also has various agencies and even private companies that monitor the Internet and Cybersecurity so why would the President need to have that control all by his lonesome? The answer is he doesn’t need that power and he shouldn’t have it!
The fairness doctrine will not come to pass because too many people in mainstream America know what the bill entails. The new fairness doctrine will come through bills like these being slipped through Congress, the Regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who believes in controlling the Internet or any other source of information that he deems untrue/disingenuous, or through the FCC Diversity ‘Czar’ Mark Lloyd.
If Mark Lloyd’s Prelude to a Farce and his beliefs about Hugo Chavez’s magnificent revolution, or Cass Sunstein’s book On Rumors, where he wants to regulate the Internet, is not enough to make a person cringe, then Obama’s new plan to harvest information from social networking sites should.
NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.
The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”
In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is postedat FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.
So why is the Obama administration so interested in all of this control? Why is there no outcry from the left? The Patriot Act looks like child’s play compared to the expansion of government under Obama in only 7 months.