Friday, November 6, 2009
Senate Bill Would Give President Obama Authority to Pull the Plug on Your Internet
CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they're at risk of a cyberattack, "critical" computer networks from the Internet.
“I regard this as a profoundly and deeply troubling problem to which we are not paying much attention," Rockefeller said at a hearing, referring to cybersecurity.
Senate bill 773 (The Cybersecurity Act of 2009) is causing a flurry of opposition from groups like Campaign for Liberty, which has sent out letters to their members appealing for them to take action against passage of this bill, stating:
“If the ‘Internet Takeover Bill’ passes, Barack Obama can silence his dissenters directly -- by ordering a shutdown of all Americans’ access to the Internet. But that’s not all. Even outside of periods of White House-declared ‘emergency,’ this bill mandates that private-sector networks only be managed by government-licensed cybersecurity professionals.”
CNET News August 28, 2009
Campaign for Liberty
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
If you’re thinking this is another one of those “out there” conspiracy theories drummed up to discredit the President or any part of the current administration, think again.
Senate bill 773 (The Cybersecurity Act of 2009) is a very real, and very alarming, piece of legislation that is pending action right now.
You can read the record for yourself at the Library of Congress, but I’ll post the description of the proposed Senate bill 773 here too:
“A bill to ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective cybersecurity defenses against disruption, and for other purposes.”
The bill was introduced on April 1, 2009, but unfortunately was not an April Fool’s joke.
According to the Library of Congress, the bill was referred to Senate committee, has been read twice and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bill was also apparently redrafted since its initial release, but still reportedly contains vague language that appears to grant the president authority to seize control of private-sector Internet networks during a “cybersecurity emergency.”
What’s Concerning About The Cybersecurity Act of 2009?
Like the recently introduced Food Safety Enforcement Act and the slightly older Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act, The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 was introduced under the guise of public safety, but in reality contains inclusions that could seriously impact and threaten your privacy and civil liberties.
According to CNET News, The Act, even in “revised” form, would allow:
•The president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat.
•The president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security."
•The White House to engage in "periodic mapping" of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies "shall share" requested information with the federal government.
•A federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have that license.
In case you were wondering, “Cyber” in the Bill is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks, so you can see the enormous power that is being granted to the government.
The Internet is Now Threatening to Crush “Big Brother”
The Internet has rapidly become a very important media voice and force. No longer are we “imprisoned” in our insular caves and dependent on the major networks and newspapers for our news.
People like you, your friends and relatives are actually using social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook to bypass these outlets and information is capable of spreading like wildfire.
Is the government now getting nervous, realizing how little control they have over this? Are they now looking for ways to shut down your access, and contributions, to this free source of information and TRUTH?
As you may know, there are countries that do this as a matter of course, but here in the United States we are supposed to be free …
The Internet has really become one of the last bastions of independent, free-thinking news available around the world, so I am very glad to see that The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 is drawing widespread and deserved criticism from Internet companies and civil liberty groups alike.
But even though the United States enjoys access to much more free press than many other countries, the system is clearly not without flaws, nor is it impervious to violations that threaten your freedom to access and share information.
How Can You Help Protect Your Freedom to Use and Access the Internet?
There are two major social network players: Facebook and Twitter and I encourage you to join BOTH. You can also visit my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter.
Next, sign up for our new social network on Mercola.com, which has taken us over five years to build.
Once you join you will easily be able to connect to other like-minded individuals for support and insights.
Then, while you still can, use the power of the Internet to spread the news about Senate bill 773. Share this information with your friends, family and social circles, and together we can all change the world for the better!