Will the Internet be Shut Down?

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), introduced a bill called, The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, last week that would permit the President to effectively shut down the internet by emergency decree. Lieberman said in a release announcing his bill, "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies -- cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals." Joe Lieberman is so in love with war. But this raises a couple of larger questions. On the one hand, if our next president is another George W. Bush style hard-right demagogue and he decided that all the left-wing and progressive blogs were a problem, he could shut down the internet. On the other hand, what if Sharon Angle and her friends who agree that Second Amendment gun rights are the remedy that right-wing Americans must use if they can't "succeed" at the ballot box this November, and they start assassinating progressive democrats like happened back in the 1960s, would you want President Obama or Biden to have the right to shut down the internet so right-wing insurgents couldn't lead a violent overthrow of the US government? Is it even likely or possible? This bill is a dangerous infringement of our first amendment rights of free speech and assembly, particularly in as much as the new point of assembly is cyberspace. It's a classic example of right-wing overreach, and should be opposed by all patriotic Americans.


rickg's picture
rickg 12 years 50 weeks ago

Any bill that stiffles our 1st Amendment rights should be shut down before it even gets to a committee. It is a pet peeve of mine that the 1st and 4th Amendments have to be constantly compromised due to "security" reasons but the "hallowed" 2nd Amemdment goes on and on without a whimper of subjugation.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 50 weeks ago

The "problem" with trying to shut down the internet is that communication is required for friends as well as "enemies of the State."

I'm sure there are enough nut-jobs who would turn rabid if they couldn't use the internet to call out the dogs.

How about shutting down the phone systems? Radio broadcasts? Smoke signals? Confiscate all string and tin cans?

When the call goes out to assemble the militia, I'll show up with my personal Aircrafft Carrier Battle Group.

Lieberman, et al, are nuts.

n8chz's picture
n8chz 12 years 50 weeks ago

Lieberman is a [expletive deleted] Hobbesian. I would have expected Collins to know better. I don't know who Carper is; but sounds like a disgrace to his party.

I've always suspected that the Internet itself is some kind of Trojan horse upon society. While it has by far the lowest entry costs of any outbound method of communication, and even non-commercial activity is possible, as well as consumption of content intended for foreign audiences, the fact remains that it was 'invented' at DARPA, deep in the bowels of the military industrial complex, back when infentor Al Gore wore an Air Force uniform. It was invented to be invulnerable to nuclear attack. Let's hope the same is true of political attack, implying Empire has unleashed something it cannot control. Some success in leveraging the Internet in authoritarian countries has been reported using the Onion Router.

How to enlist in the Savory Navy?

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 50 weeks ago

@n8chz: All you have to do is show up with your support vessel and crew. We're likely to need a CVL with 10 Apache helicopters, or an oiler or two.

Time and date to be arranged.

rural activist's picture
rural activist 12 years 50 weeks ago

Are we China? Doesn't China do the same thing whenever they feel "threatened"? I don't remember becoming a communist country. Are we still a democracy? It seems our rights are only on paper and not really enforceable unless you have enough money to buy them back. It is long past the time to get out there and DEMAND our rights. Let them try and shut the internet down, then the youth WILL rise up and march on Washington in protest. Perhaps this will accelerate the revolution!

rural activist's picture
rural activist 12 years 50 weeks ago

Give me a call, I'll fight right beside you my fellow countrymen (and women)! I want a better future for my children and grandchildren and yours too! @Gene Savory

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 12 years 50 weeks ago

@rural activist: I can't call ... NSA is listening. We do need a Trident submarine or two, though.

There is a feature in EMACS editor/mail program that randomly inserts strings of key words that guys like Captain Black are looking for. The method is "META Spook."

epdowd94's picture
epdowd94 12 years 50 weeks ago

Under the heading of a "national threat" I believe by Presidential order, the President could proceed immediately if necessary. We immediately ordered all air traffic to land following 9-11. It didn't take an act of Congress. I don't think we NEED a law like that.

GreenMule's picture
GreenMule 12 years 50 weeks ago

EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM doesn't ring a bell to anyone? That is the warning we've been paying to maintain since forever. The same system that should have warned those people who were burned to death in the Twin Towers. No one received a warning. Everyone was / is expendable by the way in which the politicians and big companies are allowed to make mistakes resulting in our deaths. I haven't heard of a top executive ever being killed in a mine or on an oil rig. The pharmaceutical executives and families never die from the poisons they sell.

They sold you on the ideas of Homeland Security, Law Enforcement dressed as Ninja Turtles, Security Snapshots of your naked butt at the airport, hating Mexicans and Muslims, Death Squads sent after Americans, and you don't need no stinking warnings of trouble on the ocean bed of the Gulf of Mexico.

The citizens should not be denied the ability to head for the hills.

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