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Egypt have shown how to turn off the internet. Why we should care and be concern about "Kill switch" law.

Cross-posted from my blog: Politeching

When CNET reported on Monday (January 24th) that Lieberman has re-introduced an internet "kill switch" type bill – which would provide a president the power to shutdown the internet – I wondered what type of situation do they envision necessitating such drastic action. This bill would give Obama or any President a dictatorial like power and allow them to bypass the court. Egypt have provided a demonstration of how that can be done and for what purpose. We can argue that we have a Democratic government and the situation in Egypt is unlikely to occur here. However, looking at Joe Lieberman track record, it should cause us to pause and reflect on how this power could easily be abused. Lieberman used his position as chairman of Homeland Security to pressure Amazon, a private company, to take extra-judicial action against a whistleblowing site. This was done without proving guilt or citing what crime Wikileaks is being accused of. Isn’t due process the foundation of democracy and what set us apart from Authoritarianism? It is not hard to imagine what people like Joe Lieberman could do, or how little excuse they would need, to use a law that would allow them to bypass the court. All in an effort to stifle dissenting view, using national security as an excuse.

Originally posted to politeching on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:56 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  October 2001 (6+ / 0-)

    First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.

    John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, to Alberto Gonzales

  •  This is the Lieberman-Collins bill. (8+ / 0-)

    Obama actually has nothing to do with it.

    (Yes, CNET puts his name in the headline.
    But the rest of the article covers not a whit of
    interest or input from President Obama.)

    In fact the only input I can find from an administration member is a quote from an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security who won't endorse the Lieberman-Collins bill and says that a 1934 law already covers this territory.

    So.... why conflate Egypt and President Obama with a bill that comes from Lieberman and a Republican?  I know why CNET includes his name in
    the headline - it gets more people to read the article.

    Of course, if you can provide evidence that President Obama has approved of this bill,  I will read it with interest.

    faith is no substitute for empirical evidence

    by Rudyard on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:12:07 PM PST

  •  The first thing that came to my mind this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett

    when I read that Egypt had "killed" the internet, was can they do that here? But revolutions happened before the internet! I guess it could be done again.

    "I have ferrets with fins" - African Cichlids. And (3 - nope....) 2 pooties too! Ren (crossed the Rainbow Bridge 10/19/10), Stimpy (16 yrs) and Rocky (4 yrs)

    by mrsgoo on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:27:45 PM PST

  •  christ (4+ / 0-)

    this has nothing to fucking do with Obama

    "We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature." - Rachel Carson, American Author and Marine Biologist

    by GlowNZ on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:29:59 PM PST

  •  You might want to really read an article... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rudyard, MyBrainWorks, jakebob

    ...before you craft your post title, unless you have a particular personal obsession/fear/political smear point that you want to push...

    To your larger point, I can only feel that I am not worried about Obama 'flipping the switch' as much as I am worried about some other president from some other party deciding that, for some reason, it is necessary to flip that switch.  The denial of free public discourse is the threat that needs to be discussed, without invoking the name of the current president...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:38:33 PM PST

  •  Apology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, meg

    OK, I've renamed the title to remove reference to Obama. If you search google for Obama kill switch, you'll get all the different media outlet calling it as such. My initial read on the article was this bill was introduced before and involved a Democrat Senator. Obama have also created cybersecurity coordinator and wanted to craft a cybersecurity incident response. Although the Lieberman bill and a joint Republican-Democrat bill before that seems to came out of Obama's voicing intent to create such response,I decide to remove his name on the title since I cant find an article where he directly endorses the bill. So I'll leave it at that.

    Thanks for your comments.

    •  But now it won't generate the outrage... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rudyard

      you're after.

      I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

      by punditician on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 10:47:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not "Obama" (0+ / 0-)

      It's PRESIDENT Obama.
      Please show due respect for the elected leader of our country.

      And by the way:
      First you write of:

      Obama's voicing intent to create such response

      Where is your evidence? When did he voice this intent? To who?

      Then you write:

      I cant find an article where he directly endorses the bill.

      See above.

      An finally you write:

      So I'll leave it at that.

      How about you just delete this diary.
      I can see no purpose for it other than to add to other malicious falsehoods about President Obama.

      faith is no substitute for empirical evidence

      by Rudyard on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 09:11:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Link to article (0+ / 0-)

        I've provided the link to the article where Obama created cybersecurity coordinator and recommend a new cybersecurity incident response plan.

        Why is it that a google search of "Obama Kill Switch" turns out different media outlet report all saying it is Obama's plan? They did not re-quote from one news source like Associated Press but each are independent news including reputable technology news. Even UK news says the same thing. Maybe because Obama is the one who asked that such type of plan be made?

  •  There might be a problem with this: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meg, MyBrainWorks, JesseCW

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    "A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness." -Cadfael mysteries.

    by Jane Lew on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 10:37:57 PM PST

  •  Every weapon touted by the... (0+ / 0-)

    military (like the drones---which are now being used on US soil---well, air) are ultimately designed to be used against the liberals and the "poors" when we've finally reached the breaking point and become too "uppity". The sound machines, the microwave blast technology...it's all in preparation for the revolt of the citizenry. The "kill switch" will be one more tool in their arsenal. My guess is that it's already operational and the Lieberman ploy (like the "debatable" gutting of our school system and possibly the social safety net) is just to lull us into passive acceptance.

  •  and as for the tear gas against demonstrators, (0+ / 0-)

    Egypt gets from us as part our "aid", but we make it here at home...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 01:33:13 AM PST

  •  as for the tear gas to use against demonstrators, (0+ / 0-)

    Egypt gets it from us as part of our "aid", but we already make it here at home...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 01:34:58 AM PST

  •  Not to worry. (0+ / 0-)

    Any use of such "kill switch" automatically shuts down the entire nation - all functions of government and business, not just the ability of the public to communicate with each other. Thus it's the signal that the government has fallen - vacated the field - and business will do what it must do to ensure its own survival. Boot out their hand-picked puppets, turn it back on and get back to the business of making money.

    The nation can survive an interruption in government, it cannot survive an interruption in cash flow.

    Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

    by Joieau on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 08:01:29 AM PST

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