Well. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. The first overt and barely veiled attempt to stamp out the First Amendment is now circulating the halls of the Senate with a provision that gives the president the ability to block private networks from accessing the internet in "emergencies". Well, I hate to have to be the one to tell you all this, but this is exactly the same kind of crap Hitler pulled in Germany in the 1930s. If you think I'm kidding, go read up about it.
At this point in our history, the internet is the ultimate expression of free speech. People have virtually limitless ability to go online and express themselves before the public to anyone who will listen (or read) to what they have to say. In several markets the internet has become the dominant force for news distribution. In many cases breaking free from the stranglehold the liberals have over more traditional forms of media. Needless to say, this has said liberals highly upset. They've already tried to suppress this once before by trying to revive the "Fairness Doctrine". They failed. So they're getting sneakier about it.
So now we have senators up on Capitol Hill saying that having this ability is equivalent to the president ordering the FAA to ground all flights on 9/11. I think they need to get some perspective. It's completely unrealistic to assume that any form of cyber attack could ever approach the magnitude of an event like 9/11. Unless of course our great leaders have indeed left the front gates wide open and any script kiddie with access to a botnet really can bring the entire federal infrastructure down overnight. If they have left the gates open, then the only thing that makes any sense at all is that they left them that way on purpose in order to build up the necessary scaremongering to pass legislation.
If this bill is such a good thing, why are they trying to quietly sneak it through? And why once they got caught did they try and reword it in deliberately vague terms so as to make it look like they're fixing the issue? The reason is simple. It's a smokescreen. This bill has but one purpose. To march us off the abyss into Fascism.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil
Well. I guess that's that then.
I also don't think it's fearmongering to raise this issue this way. Seizing control of private media, even in the form of the internet, is counter to the First Amendment and is a key control point on the road to fascism.
Free speech, it always seems to be the mantra of those opposed to laws to stop certain cyber activities or regulation of aspects of cyber life. Personally i could not give a rats ass about how regulated the internet is, i want my internet to be free from spam, hacks, bots and all other nefarious things that cause my day to day internet activities to be risky. I want my kids to be able to use facebook and not have a pack of pimple faced weaklings abuse "Free Speech" and partial anonymity to bully and torment them. I myself would like to see proper international laws and regulations to stop cyber harassment, especially in regards to the morons from mudbytes who still send me hate mail or links to shit on that hate site.
Should the government be able to shut down all the internet in one fell swoop, not sure, but if it came to facing the problems caused by a cyber terrorist attack where all aspects of life are affected and the government being able to isolate my country from it, i think i would err on the side of protection, its not like certain counties are not already the source of most internet espionage and corporate thefts, so stopping someone from attacking our banks, utilities and such, to me sounds like a good idea.
None of these laws from what i can see will stop anyone's right to free speech, Samson will still be able to post his republican inspired views on things, Conner can still agree with him and myself and Dwip will still, often times, find reasons to disagree with them and the circle of life continues on, real free speech in practice. If at some point that these things are being impeded, then you will find me up in arms. Until then, regulate and legislate.
As for my above quote from Samsons linked article, all i can say is BULLSHIT, people will still speak their opinions and business will still go about trying to make money, as is their nature.
THEN THEY CAME for the Republicans, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Republican.
THEN THEY CAME for the Christians, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Christian.
THEN THEY CAME for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.
This legislation is a slippery slope. It's also proof of hypocrisy on the part of progressives. They whine and complain about the Patriot Act but then turn around and try and impose this crap on us instead.
Personally i could not give a rats ass about how regulated the internet is, i want my internet to be free from spam, hacks, bots and all other nefarious things that cause my day to day internet activities to be risky. I want my kids to be able to use facebook and not have a pack of pimple faced weaklings abuse "Free Speech" and partial anonymity to bully and torment them. I myself would like to see proper international laws and regulations to stop cyber harassment, especially in regards to the morons from mudbytes who still send me hate mail or links to shit on that hate site.
So, we're giving the U.S. president the ability to shutdown any suspected spammer (the majority of them are not Americans, you know...), hacker (I believe they prefer to be called cracker and, again, the majority of them are not US citizens...), bot (this category includes almost every search engine, btw), and all other nefarious things that might make life online risky (hmm, while we're at it, should we give him the power to hold you indefinitely, without cause, in a rubber room so that your offline life can be equally risk free?) - perhaps that "all other nefarious" should be defined/refined just a bit? Also, per Fury's request, we'll let the U.S. president shut down Facebook (or it's individual users) should some "pimple faced weakling"try to torment or bully someone online. Now, since Facebook is U.S. based, I guess having the U.S. President shut them down would be fairly effective, but for the rest, well Fury, your crusade falls a bit short because the U.S. President can't shut down those Russian, Chinese, or Turkish crackers, bots, or spammers so you're still entirely subject to them no matter what he does. Again, you run into the same problem with "the morons from mudbytes" because, while MB is hosted here in America, many of it's users and it's current administrative staff are not U.S. based so the U.S. President wouldn't be able to help you there either.
On the other hand, instead of sending Federal Agents to Samson's door over something posted here, Obama could just shutdown Samson's internet at will through this the next time there's a complaint. So much for the argument that freedom of speech wouldn't be the issue, eh?
Additionally, you can call BS all you want about that quote from the linked article, but the fact is that Obama being given this type of absolute power over the internet could very easily mean just that. Obama could shut down internet for any business that he deemed subversive or that supported things he doesn't support, like firearm sales, for just one easy example. But even setting that aspect aside, given that I seriously doubt any of us has seen the actual content of this proposed bill, I don't think it's at all prudent to discount that it might actually contain specific verbiage that lead the author of that article to believe that new roadblocks to e-commerce would in fact be a part of the bill itself with or without the President needing to declare a national situation. (By the by, if it really did require him to declare a national emergency in order to exercise this kill-switch power, then none of the concerns you've expressed would actually qualify for his taking action as he'd be restricted to matters like terrorism or other international espionage for the most part, but I'm willing to bet that his people aren't proposing something that would leave his hands too tied to actually use on a whim.)
Samson, the quote you've paraphrased here may or may not apply, but is pushing extremism just a bit in this case. Now, if we had proof that Obama was also enacting other steps beyond reduction/elimination of the freedom of speech toward a Nazi style state, maybe.. but at this point he's not openly targeted any specific groups like that just yet... Proof of hypocrisy, yes, but it's not like we needed proof of that, that's the fundamental basis of most political platforms to begin with...