Theodore's World: Obama Can Shut Down Internet For 4 Months Under New Emergency Powers

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June 29, 2010

Obama Can Shut Down Internet For 4 Months Under New Emergency Powers

Confronting threats ranging from Chinese superhackers to the release of secret documents on WikiLeaks and other whistleblowing websites, the Obama administration may be on the verge of assuming broad new powers to regulate the Internet on national-security grounds.

“The way it seems to be worded, the bill could easily represent a threat to free speech,” said Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The bill would grant President Obama the power to declare a “national cyber-emergency” at his discretion.


Obama Can Shut Down Internet For 4 Months Under New Emergency Powers

Obama will be handed the power to shut down the Internet for at least four months without Congressional oversight if the Senate votes for the infamous Internet ‘kill switch’ bill, which was approved by a key Senate committee yesterday and now moves to the floor.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which is being pushed hard by Senator Joe Lieberman, would hand absolute power to the federal government to close down networks, and block incoming Internet traffic from certain countries under a declared national emergency.

Despite the Center for Democracy and Technology and 23 other privacy and technology organizations sending letters to Lieberman and other backers of the bill expressing concerns that the legislation could be used to stifle free speech, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed in the bill in advance of a vote on the Senate floor.

In response to widespread criticism of the bill, language was added that would force the government to seek congressional approval to extend emergency measures beyond 120 days. Still, this would hand Obama the authority to shut down the Internet on a whim without Congressional oversight or approval for a period of no less than four months.

The Senators pushing the bill rejected the claim that the bill was a ‘kill switch’ for the Internet, not by denying that Obama would be given the authority to shut down the Internet as part of this legislation, but by arguing that he already had the power to do so.


Lieberman: China Can Shut Down The Internet, Why Can’t We?

Senator Joe Lieberman, co-author of a bill that would give President Obama a ‘kill switch’ to shut down parts of the Internet, attempted to reassure CNN viewers yesterday that concerns about the government regulating free speech on the web were overblown, but he only stoked more alarm by citing China, a country that censors all online dissent against the state, as the model to which American should compare itself.

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

The Senator’s reference to China is a telling revelation of what the cybersecurity agenda is really all about. China’s vice-like grip over its Internet systems has very little to do with “war” and everything to do with silencing all dissent against the state.

Chinese Internet censorship is imposed via a centralized government blacklist of any websites that contain criticism of the state, porn, or any other content deemed unsuitable by the authorities. Every time you attempt to visit a website, you are re-routed through the government firewall, often making for long delays and crippling speeds.

China has exercised its power to shut down the Internet, something that Lieberman wants to introduce in the U.S., at politically sensitive times in order to stem the flow of information about government abuse and atrocities.

Major websites like Twitter, Google and You Tube have also been shut down either temporarily or permanently by Chinese authorities.

Chinese authorities are now going further than merely maintaining a “blacklist” of banned websites by instituting a “whitelist” of allowed websites, a move that “could potentially place much of the Internet off-limits to Chinese readers”. Websites not pre-registered with the government would be completely blocked to all Internet users, meaning “millions of completely innocuous sites” would be banned. This equates to requiring government approval to set up a website, which would obviously not be granted if the person or organization making the application has a history of or is likely to engage in dissent against the state.

President Obama himself has criticized Chinese Internet censorship as a hindrance to the free flow of information and allowing citizens to hold their governments accountable, and yet Lieberman wants to hand Obama similar powers.


Wild Thing's comment........

Thanks a lot Lieberman.....NOT! It says a committee passed this, so that means it is not final yet. I hope they vote this down and then tell Lieberman the heck off about it.

The dems should hate it as much as we would. Sites like DU and Daily Kos etc. they would also be effected and the dems better remember, these dictator laws they pass will be in effect when WE take our country back. Think about that one Lieberman, want us to shut you up when we get back in the majority and take the WH back?????

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at June 29, 2010 05:48 AM


That the president would be granted the solitary power to shut down the Internet without congressional oversight is a move towards dictatorship. If a president did not like Wild Things site he could block it so that we could neither read it nor vent our frustrations through commenting. I bet the Dems would love to shut down online ammo sales.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at June 29, 2010 10:36 AM

Lieberman says China can do this ? Hey, Joe does China have a first Amendment ? This is free speech and again runs parallel with the people being presented the option of Rights or to be safe, as Fraanklin said, in the end you have neither.

Suddenly the democrats are all behind this act of subverting our Liberty via the Federal Government. Had Bush tried this the 59 half wit Senators plus a sprinkling of a few RINOS, would have a collective cow and where is the ACLU protesting this abridgement of the Peoples Rights.

Congress has so corrupted the Constitution and the Schools don't even teach what the Costitution is,except that it is a living document, in other words it changes with the whims of the progressives.

The only living part of the Constitution is the Amendment process and thats it. But the left would rather pervert and subvert that process and do by either Judicial or Executive fiat. I would be willing to bet that a minimum of 90 per cent of the congress have no idea about Article 1 section 8 of the constitution. This is the structure of what the congress can do and most importantly what they can not do. The enumerated powers. They all seem to carry a small copy with them but can they even read. They never read the bills they vote on so who can say they are even literate.

Somebody once said, he could pick people out of the phone book, at random, to run for congress and most of them would do a better job.

Its time to kick these lazy good for nothings out and bring in some fresh new faces from our side.
Enough of this crap...and that aint Carp.

Posted by: Mark at June 29, 2010 12:11 PM

Tom, your so right and that is very concerning.
"That the president would be granted the solitary power to shut down the Internet without congressional oversight is a move towards dictatorship."
I had nto thought of thatbut I bet they would love to do that and shut down the ammo sites too like you said.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2010 04:21 PM

Mark, that was great thank you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 29, 2010 04:22 PM