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April 6, 2009
Democrats' Next Target: the Internet
Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has introduced two senate bills that may severely regulate traffic on the Internet.
The Canadian Free Press explains it this way:
The White House will have new powers to access private online data, regulate the cyber security industry and even shut down Internet traffic under the provisions of Senate bills No. 773 and 778, introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V. It’s called the Cybersecurity Act of 2009.
You can see a draft of the legislation here.
The Center for Democracy and Technology reviews some of the legislation’s possible effects:
The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 would, for example, give the President unfettered power to shut down Internet traffic in emergencies or disconnect any critical infrastructure system or network on national security grounds. The bill would grant the Commerce Department the ability to override all privacy laws to access any information about Internet usage in connection with a new role in tracking cybersecurity threats. The bill, introduced by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe, would also give the government unprecedented control over computer software and Internet services, threatening innovation, freedom and privacy. CDT President and CEO Leslie Harris said, "The cybersecurity threat is real, but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."
Looks like the Democrats may intend to put the Fairness Doctrine back on the air and get it started online.
Update -- Cathi Farber writes:
Sen. Jay Rockefeller wants to make this new "Cyber Security" law where the government has access to private online information. Senate bills No. 773 and 778.
Using the word "security" sure makes it sound like it is all for our "safety," but many are calling this law a Big Brother law. I think they are right.
When most of us think of Big Brother, we think it would be some invasive government device coming in to our house with a camera and a screen like 1984. But this law makes me realize it will be much more subtle and sinister than that, at first at least. Right now Citizens of the USA are voluntarily inputing, creating and surrendering their "private" information for Big Brother, and they don't even realize it! Everyone who has "private information" and "private messages" and "private images" and "private friends" in their "private" facebook, my space or any other social website, will have their privacy invaded with this new law. Even if a citizen uses every security feature of the website available, to keep people they don't know from viewing their "private" information, they will not truly have privacy because government can enter. Also every medical record that the government wants on the internet will be subject to privacy invasion as well. Perhaps all e-mail services too?
If we pass this law, everything posted to the internet will have government scrutiny. The government doesn't need to invade the People's houses to know everything about us, the People will have all their information out there on the internet voluntarily and involuntarily, for the government to view!
They just need to pass the law for it to happen. So the critics are right, this is truly a Big Brother law. Big Brother is here.