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The Internet Kill Switch One Of The Favorite New Tools Of Tyrannical Governments
The Economic Collapse ^ | 01/31/2011 | Michael Snyder

Posted on 01/31/2011 7:55:33 AM PST by SeekAndFind

This past week was a perfect example of how the "Internet kill switch" is rapidly becoming one of the favorite new tools of tyrannical governments all over the globe. Once upon a time, the Internet was a bastion of liberty and freedom, but now nation after nation is cracking down on it. In fact, legislation has been introduced once again in Congress that would give the president of the United States an "Internet kill switch" that he would be able to use in the event of war or emergency. Of course there would be a whole lot of wiggle room in determining what actually constitutes a true "emergency". The members of Congress that are pushing this "Internet kill switch" bill want the U.S. to become more like China in this regard. In China, the Internet is highly controlled, highly regulated and highly censored. In fact, China has shut down the Internet in entire regions when they have felt it necessary. So what Egypt did in shutting down the Internet this past week is not unprecedented - but it was quite shocking.

Organizers of the protests in Egypt had been using the #Jan25 hashtag on Twitter and had been communicating with each other via Facebook, and so the Mubarak regime thought that they could significantly derail the protest movement by shutting down the Internet.

It has been widely reported that approximately 88 percent of the Internet in Egypt was shut down at one point. Jim Cowie, the chief technology officer of an Internet monitoring firm known as Renesys, described on his blog just how complete and total this Internet shutdown in Egypt actually was....

"Every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world."

So how was this all done? How could such a large section of the Internet be taken offline so rapidly? Well, a recent article on MSNBC described how it works....

According to David Clark, an MIT computer scientist whose research focuses on Internet architecture and development, a government's ability to control the Internet depends on its control of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the private sector companies that grant Internet access to customers.

"ISPs have direct control of the Internet, so what happens in any country depends on the control that the state has over those ISPs," Clark told Life's Little Mysteries in an e-mail. "Some countries regulate the ISPs much more heavily. China has in the past 'turned off' the Internet in various regions."

Whenever the subject of Internet censorship comes up, China always seems to be involved in the conversation. China has more Internet users than anyone else in the world, but they also have the tightest controls.

The Chinese government is absolutely obsessed with "maintaining order" and it has shown that it will go to extreme lengths to quell dissent.

For example, the government of China cut off the entire Xinjiang region from the Internet for nearly a year after civil unrest erupted there in 2009.

The Chinese government is so sensitive to political dissent that they even began censoring the word "Egypt" on a number of micro-blogging websites this past week.

A recent article posted on Raw Story explained what happened....

On the sina.com and sohu.com sites, the Chinese equivalents of Twitter, which is censored in China, a query with the word "Egypt" returned the response: "According to the laws in force, the results of your search cannot be given."

Isn't that bizarre?

Nothing like that would ever happen in the United States, right?

Well, don't be so sure.

Last year, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman made the following statement to CNN's Candy Crowley....

"Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too."

That statement should chill you to your bones.

U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman wants Chinese-style Internet censorship to come to the United States.

In fact, as mentioned above, legislation that would give the president of the United States an "Internet kill switch" has been introduced in the Senate once again, and in fact it has already been approved by a Senate panel.

The legislation has bipartisan support, and it is being pushed this time by Maine Senator Susan Collins, who is a ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

This bill, S.3480, is entitled "The Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset Act of 2010". It would create a brand new government agency (as if we needed more of those) known as the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications.

This new agency would be given extraordinary power over the Internet - including the power to completely shut down the Internet for 30 days.

Collins insists that this new law is necessary because it would enable us to protect the Internet against "cyber threats" before they could cause serious damage.

While that may sound good on paper, the reality is that giving the government an "Internet kill switch" would create opportunities for tremendous government abuse.

Wired recently ran an article that detailed some of these concerns....

A congressional white paper (.pdf) on the measure said the proposal prohibits the government from targeting websites for censorship “based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Oddly, that’s exactly the same language in the Patriot Act used to test whether the government can wiretap or investigate a person based on their political beliefs or statements.

Of course we all know how that turned out.

It has been revealed time after time after time that the U.S. government has been investigating large numbers of people based on their political beliefs.

The Internet is a great way for people to express and share their political thoughts and ideas, but it is also providing a way for governments around the world to watch and track dissenters.

For example, major news websites in China now require users to register their true identities before they are able to leave any comments. This enables the government to be able to identify (and potentially deal with) anyone that does not express the "right" views.

In the same manner, the Obama administration is now proposing the introduction of a "universal Internet ID" for Americans. The program is being touted as "voluntary", but how long do you think it would be before a whole host of government agencies started to use these universal Internet IDs to watch, monitor, track and control the Internet activities of tens of millions of Americans?

The following is a video news report from CBS News about these new universal Internet IDs....

So where does all of this Internet censorship end?

Well, the truth is that it is only going to get tighter and tighter as the years go by.

Eventually you will probably need a government-issued license to put up websites such as this one, and in fact someday you will probably need a government-issued license before you can even log on to the Internet.

So enjoy this era of relatively unlimited Internet freedom while you can, because it is rapidly coming to an end. Tyrannical governments all over the globe are realizing that in order to maintain "control" they must place a much tighter grip on the flow of information on the Internet.

If you live in the United States or another nation where there is still at least a limited amount of liberty and freedom, it is going to be important to let your representatives know that you do not want Internet censorship and you certainly do not want any sort of an Internet kill switch.

Liberties and freedoms are incredibly precious, and once they are taken away they are very difficult to get back.

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR VIDEO



TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: 112th; bho44; bhofascism; censorship; collins; communism; congress; democrats; donttr4eadonme; donttreadonme; internet; killswitch; liberalfascism; obama; rapeofliberty; s3480; socialism; standdown; tyranny; universalinternetid

1 posted on 01/31/2011 7:55:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

That would never happen here. /sarc


2 posted on 01/31/2011 7:59:56 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: unixfox

Don’t throw that old Short Wave Radio away yet.


3 posted on 01/31/2011 8:03:45 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: 2nd amendment mama

Ping!


4 posted on 01/31/2011 8:06:35 AM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "Gun Free Zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: SeekAndFind

Remember that the Social Security card and number were to be only for the purposes of Social Security?

5 posted on 01/31/2011 8:07:07 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Please donate to FreeRepublic, sanity in a world gone mad!)
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To: SeekAndFind

I worry more about the Universal Internet ID than I do a shutdown. Kill the internet: kill the economy: kill the tax revenue golden goose.

Still, backup comms isn’t a bad idea. Just because it’s stupid or harmful, even to themselves, doesn’t mean the govt won’t do it.


6 posted on 01/31/2011 8:07:54 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Killing the internet would really be tough.
Not only wouldn’t I be able to browse, my phone is VOIP and my TV comes through by internet also (FIOS).


7 posted on 01/31/2011 8:27:36 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Re-Elect President Sarah Palin 2016)
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To: SeekAndFind

I still can’t find a “kill switch” in the bill.

The bill is about doing something we need, having a coordinated civil response to attack and ensuring our critical infrastructure is protected. Under this, owners of critical infrastructure are required to have plans to deal with emergencies, and the government (CERT) is supposed to help them. If the SHTF, the president can tell those owners to implement their plans. The bill even says the plans must “represent the least disruptive means.”


8 posted on 01/31/2011 8:32:14 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: Free Vulcan
...Universal Internet ID than I do a shutdown.

Give the government time. They will get around to both of them.

9 posted on 01/31/2011 8:36:50 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: unixfox

Bush creation of Homeland Security was wrong and we wil pay for it with our freedom.


10 posted on 01/31/2011 8:41:53 AM PST by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Under this, owners of critical infrastructure are required to have plans to deal with emergencies, and the government (CERT) is supposed to help them. If the SHTF, the president can tell those owners to implement their plans.

Disaster planning is something you do in business. Why is it good to have the government getting involved in this? What is the purpose for getting involved in this?

What exactly would they consider to be an emergency? Would the owners not know when the SHTF without a call from the government? Won't that be obvious? Why are we assuming that a central command and control infrastructure is a good thing?

See, I don't trust the government at all. They lie and steal from us all on a daily basis. I don't think they're stupid. I think they have malicious motivations.

11 posted on 01/31/2011 8:44:17 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: Free Vulcan
Kill the internet: kill the economy: kill the tax revenue golden goose.

Exactly. Look at how many businesses depend on the Internet for various reasons.

If the government did hit an OFF switch, the uproar from the Internet users (100 million nerds) and thousands of businesses would send politicians in retirement in off-shore vacation spots.

A shutdown of a single day would cause such economic upheavel that it would would take weeks to recover.


12 posted on 01/31/2011 8:48:03 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: massgopguy

Exactly. BTW, I have an Extra Class license.


13 posted on 01/31/2011 8:56:45 AM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: MichiganConservative
Disaster planning is something you do in business. Why is it good to have the government getting involved in this?

For one, the government is already involved in public network security via the CERT. If you've ever seen a computer security alert, there's usually a CERT number along with it. Second, this is about public networks that impact the ability of the government to function or that provide or control basic services to the people. Yes, much of our government's communications runs through these privately owned networks.

Would the owners not know when the SHTF without a call from the government?

The difference between individual owners taking action at different times that may or may not be applicable to the problem in the larger scheme, and a coordinated, targeted response. The Chinese are gearing up to be able to make a coordinated attack. Shouldn't the defense also be coordinated? Think war, because that's what this is. Do you think our power plants and shipping ports have no coordination with the government in case of war or other national emergency?

14 posted on 01/31/2011 8:57:57 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

CERT is funded through DARPA. CERT is at Carnegie Mellon University. This senate bill would create a new federal bureaucracy, not through CERT.

Why do we need a law for this? Why do we need MORE bureaucracy? If they just want to make sure the networks are hardened for attacks, why don’t they work with their providers or find new providers that can do it?

Why pass more laws and make more bureaucrats? Isn’t there an alternative to that?

Raising war, China, terrorism as an excuse is good because it makes the people afraid. Governments can, and our government has, get away with a lot when they scare the people and then say they are going to fix it.


15 posted on 01/31/2011 9:19:07 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: MichiganConservative
Why do we need a law for this?

Laws are better than an executive agency just claiming it has the power to do this. As far as more buraucracy, that is a good question. What existing agency do you think would be best to take on the responsibility for the coordination?

why don’t they work with their providers or find new providers that can do it

These are the providers, all of them.

Raising war, China, terrorism as an excuse is good because it makes the people afraid.

Be happy that, unlike you, the government has actually realized that the next generation of warfare has a large Internet component. It's not an excuse. It's fact. It's like you're sitting here a hundred years ago asking why we should bother developing a defense against these flying machines, and saying that any preparation for such a defense is just an excuse to make people afraid.

16 posted on 01/31/2011 9:27:38 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: hoosierham
"Bush creation of Homeland Security was wrong and we wil pay for it with our freedom."

_____________________________________________________

This needs to be repeated over and over.
17 posted on 01/31/2011 9:36:49 AM PST by Minus_The_Bear
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To: antiRepublicrat
Laws are better than an executive agency just claiming it has the power to do this.

Now there's a false dichotomy. Who is the customer? Why can the customer not go to the provider and say "We have these requirements. How much does that cost to fulfill?" Identify the customer and you have identified the entity responsible for the coordination with their providers.

The option I propose has the government paying for service. The two options you have identified would place a regulatory burden on all of them. The regulatory burden would be borne by everyone and less easily identifiable on a line-item audit. I would prefer the government negotiate the price up front rather than covertly taxing everyone through regulation.

Be happy that, unlike you, the government has actually realized that the next generation of warfare has a large Internet component. It's not an excuse. It's fact. It's like you're sitting here a hundred years ago asking why we should bother developing a defense against these flying machines, and saying that any preparation for such a defense is just an excuse to make people afraid.

A misunderstanding of my argument and a straw man! Nice one! Is that a willful misunderstanding or do you just not comprehend?

My questions are not about the necessity of hardening networks. My questions are about the means the federal government is using. My preferred solutions are more open and market, and tax-payer, friendly. Yours are more totalitarian.

18 posted on 01/31/2011 10:00:17 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: MichiganConservative
Now there's a false dichotomy.

False dilemma. I meant to write false dilemma.

Need to proof read ENTIRE post.

19 posted on 01/31/2011 10:03:28 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: SeekAndFind
If things ever got to the point that our government would attempt to shut down the Internet, well, that would be the least of our problems!

Personally, I think the genie is out of the bottle with respect to the Internet. Hundreds of millions of devices with internet capability with most businesses dependent upon it to operate and do business. It would be tough to shut all that down without crippling the economy in the process.

20 posted on 01/31/2011 10:04:42 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: MichiganConservative
Now there's a false dichotomy. Who is the customer? Why can the customer not go to the provider and say "We have these requirements. How much does that cost to fulfill?"

Because when you're talking network security, even those who are not your providers affect your ability to conduct business. This is a whole approach, not ineffective piecemeal. If no government entities are serviced by a certain nuclear power plant, should we just not include it in our defense plans?

The option I propose has the government paying for service.

A big chunk of the bill is the government paying for services to help infrastructure owners comply. The government itself, such as the expertise in CERT, becomes a resource the owners can tap for free.

My preferred solutions are more open and market, and tax-payer, friendly. Yours are more totalitarian.

So we should take an open market solution. Okay. Should we just hope all ports scan for nuclear materials going through them, or do you think the government should have a say in that the ports should monitor for such things? I am generally for open markets, but national security requires top-down coordination and leadership. Even the Constitution didn't just hope people gathered together to defend the country, it allowed for Congress to provide for a militia and its training, and for the President to be its commander in chief.

21 posted on 01/31/2011 10:25:05 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: PUGACHEV

It is important for us to have a network of ham operators, especially Freepers.


22 posted on 01/31/2011 11:36:06 AM PST by WVNan
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To: antiRepublicrat
A big chunk of the bill is the government paying for services to help infrastructure owners comply.

And this does not help you convince me. So who decides who gets the money? Why am I not surprised? Why do I think this security and war talk is just a smokescreen to cover funnelling taxpayer money to their friends in those companies?

You are not convincing me this is not just another scam to screw the taxpayer.

But, I guess this is needed to protect the payoffs and kickbacks now that the future of Net Neutrality is in questions. Gotta have some way to screw the taxpayers.

Okay. Should we just hope all ports scan for nuclear materials going through them, or do you think the government should have a say in that the ports should monitor for such things?

By the way, they don't scan all those containers.

23 posted on 01/31/2011 12:07:06 PM PST by MichiganConservative (Terrorists don't commit genocide. That's what governments do.)
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To: MichiganConservative
Why do I think this security and war talk is just a smokescreen to cover funnelling taxpayer money to their friends in those companies?

You can say that for a lot of defense spending. But you are left with the basic fact that cyber-warfare is real, that networks have been and will increasingly be a vector of attack on our country. I still believe the federal government is a core component of national defense. It's actually one of the few jobs the Constitution gave them.

By the way, they don't scan all those containers.

I'm talking about one port not deciding to do anything at all. Any bombs and such are probably just going through the port to the intended target, so why should a port operator bother? That's the free market solution, right? Every company decides what to do to protect itself?

24 posted on 01/31/2011 12:53:08 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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