Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Should Obama Control the Internet?
Motherjones ^ | Thu April 2, 2009 12:33 PM PST | Steve Aquino

Posted on 04/27/2009 6:03:56 AM PDT by cbkaty

Should Obama Control the Internet?

A new bill would give the President emergency authority to halt web traffic and access private data.

Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?

Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any "critical" information network "in the interest of national security." The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

Rockefeller made cybersecurity one of his key issues as a member of the Senate intelligence committee, which he chaired until last year. He now heads the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which will take up this bill.

"We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs—from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records—the list goes on," Rockefeller said in a statement. Snowe echoed her colleague, saying, "if we fail to take swift action, we, regrettably, risk a cyber-Katrina."

But the wide powers outlined in the Rockefeller-Snowe legislation has at least one Internet advocacy group worried. "The cybersecurity threat is real," says Leslie Harris, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), "but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."

The bill could undermine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), says CDT senior counsel Greg Nojeim. That law, enacted in the mid '80s, requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.

"It's an incredibly broad authority," Nojeim says, pointing out that existing privacy laws "could fall to this authority."

Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that granting such power to the Commerce secretary could actually cause networks to be less safe. When one person can access all information on a network, "it makes it more vulnerable to intruders," Granick says. "You've basically established a path for the bad guys to skip down."

The bill's scope, she says, is "contrary to what the Constitution promises us." That's because of the impact it could have on Internet users' privacy rights: If the Commerce Department uncovers evidence of illegal activity when accessing "critical" networks, that information could be used against a potential defendant, even if the department never had the intent to find incriminating evidence. And this might violate the Constitutional protection against searches without cause.

"Once information is accessed, it can be used for whatever purpose, no matter the original reason for accessing something," Granick says. "Who's interested in this [bill]? Law enforcement and people in the security industry who want to ensure more government dollars go to them."

Nojeim, though, thinks it's possible the bill's powers could be trimmed as it moves through Congress. "We will be working with them to clarify just what is needed and how to accomplish that," he says. "We're hopeful that some of the very broad powers that the bill would confer won't be included."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: censorship; consitution; constitution; internet; obama; wirelesswarrants
Hmmmm....more power....add a flux capacitor and bam!
1 posted on 04/27/2009 6:03:56 AM PDT by cbkaty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

What be a flux capacitor?


2 posted on 04/27/2009 6:07:18 AM PDT by classified
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

3 posted on 04/27/2009 6:08:14 AM PDT by KeyLargo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: classified

“Back to the Future” 1, 2 and 3. See it!


4 posted on 04/27/2009 6:09:16 AM PDT by WellyP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

That is a stupid question if I ever heard one.


5 posted on 04/27/2009 6:10:02 AM PDT by Piquaboy (Military veteran of 22 years in Navy, Air Force, and Army.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

>Hmmmm....more power....add a flux capacitor and bam!

Back in time to communist Amerika!


6 posted on 04/27/2009 6:10:04 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Answered this once a few days ago...absolutely NOT.


7 posted on 04/27/2009 6:10:07 AM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

yes... control the internet, newspapers, tv, radio— nothing wrong with that


8 posted on 04/27/2009 6:11:22 AM PDT by myaccount2009
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Snowe, read my lips, NO F..KING WAY! I am convinced this bitch is crazy!


9 posted on 04/27/2009 6:11:28 AM PDT by WellyP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Well, he has a Blackberry. That makes him pretty qualified to control every ounce of information and $ that utilize an IP address.


10 posted on 04/27/2009 6:11:51 AM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Quickest way to send the internet community underground.


11 posted on 04/27/2009 6:12:05 AM PDT by SlowBoat407 (To those crying racism: Sometimes it's not about you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

This would be a bill that allows Obama to put Free Republic directly in his sights.


12 posted on 04/27/2009 6:12:10 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (To stand up for Capitalism is to hope Teleprompter Boy fails.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

“Should Obama Control the Internet?”

Hell, no — but don’t think for a nanosecond he wouldn’t want to, though.


13 posted on 04/27/2009 6:12:52 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Meanwhile, the sheeple graze mindlessly while awaiting slaughter at Hope and Change Ranch)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

The only thing Obama should be allowed to control is his flatulence valve.


14 posted on 04/27/2009 6:13:53 AM PDT by Sig Sauer P220 (We have our own pirates. They're called politicians.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

I don’t think Mother Jones would be so accomodating and treading so lightly if this proposal came from Bush.


15 posted on 04/27/2009 6:14:10 AM PDT by Canedawg (Support and defend the Constitution, and fight back against the Idiocracy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

No

WHo does he think we are? China......

No, Wait........


16 posted on 04/27/2009 6:14:40 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Built Ford tough not Obama weak.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
I can't wait to see all the amateur comedian replies this topic will provoke. This shit IS NOT funny.
17 posted on 04/27/2009 6:14:58 AM PDT by vortigern
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

No single person should “control” it esp not a politician


18 posted on 04/27/2009 6:15:48 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WellyP

I, too, wonder what is her probbblem???!!!


19 posted on 04/27/2009 6:18:23 AM PDT by bushwon (Wonder if our founding fathers would even recognize the USA?!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
Should Obama Control the Internet?

The President is supposed to be a LEADER, not a DICTATOR.

20 posted on 04/27/2009 6:20:50 AM PDT by GingisK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Canedawg

No kidding....they are so tentative as to appear like they don’t think he’d really do it. Of course, he will.


21 posted on 04/27/2009 6:22:18 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

1938, redux...


22 posted on 04/27/2009 6:30:07 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
It's going to be one hell of a bloody revolution.
23 posted on 04/27/2009 6:30:12 AM PDT by Niteranger68 (I am an extremist that was created by Butch Napolitano.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GingisK
The President is supposed to be a LEADER, not a DICTATOR.

But a dictator is what we now have

24 posted on 04/27/2009 6:31:36 AM PDT by YellowRoseofTx (Evil is not the opposite of God; it's the absence of God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Niteranger68

I’m convinced there’s no other way.


25 posted on 04/27/2009 6:31:41 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (American Revolution II -- overdue)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
What say the idiots who voted for this man? Anyone have the stomach to see what the Dems are posting about this? I just can't make myself do it.
26 posted on 04/27/2009 6:32:10 AM PDT by pepperdog (The world has gone crazy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
"Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so."

Please tell me Snowe is up for election this year?

27 posted on 04/27/2009 6:36:16 AM PDT by Mr. K (physically unable to proofreed (<---oops))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Canedawg; All

Also for the record I would be oppose to this bill if it came from Bush..


28 posted on 04/27/2009 6:36:47 AM PDT by KevinDavis (Now a member of the NRA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All

Where is the ACLU on this??


29 posted on 04/27/2009 6:37:56 AM PDT by KevinDavis (Now a member of the NRA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

A more accurate description of security threat would probably be any website like this critical to the Dems.


30 posted on 04/27/2009 6:40:29 AM PDT by mainestategop (MAINE: The way communism should be)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

The government has no right to control the internet. But, like all other rights that it gave itself, it just takes the rights.


31 posted on 04/27/2009 6:40:42 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (fascism is wrong even when practiced by the government)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Come, lets all take off our tinfoil. Bambi would never shut down the int


32 posted on 04/27/2009 6:40:54 AM PDT by Kozak (e)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
The power this guy could yield in the event of a national or world wide calamity, is frightening. I won't go so far as to say he is the Antichrist himself. He will have to impress the world a whole lot more with his intellect and knowledge than he is doing now to fit the position, and so far, all he is doing is showing he is an idiot and a butt-kissing appeaser. A popular idiot, but an idiot. The Antichrist won’t need a teleprompter.

BUT the spirit of the Antichrist I feel, is in him. Since Obama was elected things seem to be moving way too fast not to see that something BIG, and terrifying has been set in motion. Something apocalyptic set loose, something foreseen by the prophet Daniel.

33 posted on 04/27/2009 6:41:20 AM PDT by NavyCanDo (Party like its 1773)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis

Agreed. Bush could have shut down the internet after 9/11 by EO if he wanted to, but he didn’t, because he isn’t a wannabe dicator.


34 posted on 04/27/2009 6:41:53 AM PDT by Canedawg (Support and defend the Constitution, and fight back against the Idiocracy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

The govt has all the power it needs.


35 posted on 04/27/2009 6:44:46 AM PDT by freespirited (Is this a nation of laws or a nation of Democrats? -- Charles Krauthammer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty
Maybe it's time to look at resurrecting the Fidonet
36 posted on 04/27/2009 6:46:42 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Our chickens are coming home to roost. We supported the lessor of 2 evils right up to the end. All the radio talk show hosts bit their tongues and supported Bush. In 2000 Tom Delay was called down for being excited about taking over all three branches of government. McCain wanted two chairmen on his committee. Bush sucked up to democrats. And we just kept voting for them. By the way, Delay is now a big time lobbyist.

And I’m just as guilty.


37 posted on 04/27/2009 6:52:39 AM PDT by Terry Mross ( I hate all politicians. Including republicans.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

While I do not favor giving government this power, a more insidious means of controlling the Internet is being instituted in Australia. Under the guise of blocking child pornography the government will stop access to certain Internet sites. A leak of the list of sites to be blocked showed the usual government bungling as a web site for a dental practice in Sydney was on the list as well as porn sites. The danger however is that sites critical of the government could quickly be blocked as “hate” sites.


38 posted on 04/27/2009 6:55:52 AM PDT by The Great RJ (chain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

Gun Control is life insurance for those Government Officials scheming to steal the rest of your Bill of Rights.

INTERNET CONTROL is life insurance for those Government Officials scheming to steal your guns AND the rest of your Bill o’ Rights.


39 posted on 04/27/2009 6:59:54 AM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (The Constitution & Bill of Rights stand as a whole. Remove any part & nullify the whole.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis

In BRRRRRRACKS pocket.


40 posted on 04/27/2009 7:00:58 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Isn't having a greenhorn president just a tad too green ?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: myaccount2009
yes... control the internet, newspapers, tv, radio— nothing wrong with that

Obummer would have trouble controlling his bowels.

41 posted on 04/27/2009 7:02:42 AM PDT by dearolddad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

She’s up for re-election in 2012.

And she WILL be re-elected, I’m sorry to say.

I’m in Maine, and the democrats always run someone to the left of Ted Kennedy against her, and Susan Collins. Therefore, the lesser of two evils agrument kicks in at the voting booth.


42 posted on 04/27/2009 7:05:59 AM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (January 20, 2013.....the day Sarah Palin takes the oath of office and our national nightmare ends!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

for later


43 posted on 04/27/2009 7:09:25 AM PDT by ElayneJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cbkaty

information transfer across the net doesn’t require word doc or even html pages. just multi-player games with the ability to move around in a virtual world would be enough. the characters position in a pre-arranged in-game area could easily transfer code without a problem.

good luck spotting that information being passed... let alone deciphering it

so once again, another libtard program that won’t impact its ‘specified’ target but will hinder everyday Americans while increasing the power of the federal govt


44 posted on 04/27/2009 7:11:15 AM PDT by sten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Canedawg
I don’t think Mother Jones would be so accomodating and treading so lightly if this proposal came from Bush.

Go to the head of the class Canedawg...you sniffed out the reason for the post!

45 posted on 04/27/2009 7:16:51 AM PDT by cbkaty (I may not always post...but I am always here......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: WellyP
I know a lifelong Mainer whose sister used to pal around with Olympia.

He says she is crazy.

46 posted on 04/27/2009 7:17:29 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: july4thfreedomfoundation

?SHE NEEDS TO BE REMOVED IN A PRIMARY!

FIND THE MOST CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN YOU CAN FIND!

YOUR VOTE IS WITH 1000 TIMES AS MUCH IN A PRIMARY BECAUSE SO FEW PEOPLE VOTE IN PRIMARIES!


47 posted on 04/27/2009 7:25:36 AM PDT by Mr. K (physically unable to proofreed (<---oops))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Canedawg
...by EO if he wanted to...

The Sheeple need to be aware that EOs actually apply ONLY to operations inside the executice branch. EOs are not law, since the Constitution only authorizes the Congress to make laws.

The Sheeple need to push back on this crap!!!

48 posted on 04/27/2009 9:18:29 AM PDT by GingisK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson