Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google services all have been disrupted by Egyptian governing authorities in pursuit of clamping down on protests. And we don't think the U.S. government would do the same?
Tell me, what's the difference between the Egyptian government's shutting down social networks to "bring order" to protests and the U.S. government's shutting down the Internet if there is an "imminent cyber threat"? Answer: nothing.
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has ramped up regulation and control of the Internet. Of course, it's packaging any bids to do so under Internet and homeland security.
But when does homeland security breach its constitutional limits of power and your rights as a citizen? How much authority can the feds be granted to "take over" a civilian network in case of an emergency?
First, there was Sen. John Rockefeller's Cybersecurity Act of 2009. That legislation gave the president executive privilege and power to shut down civilian infrastructure if he deems it necessary.
Then there was the "more moderate" Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, proposed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman and other senators.
Now Lieberman and his cronies are decrying any parallels between the Egyptian Internet crackdown and their Internet kill switch bill. They released a statement Feb. 1 saying emergency measures in their bill would only apply in a "precise and targeted way" to "critical infrastructure" to ensure that important assets and civilian networks "are protected from destruction." Their legislation would only allow the president to use emergency authority if there were an "ongoing or imminent" attack that would "cause local or national catastrophic effects" if there were a disruption.
And neither Obama (or any future president) nor Congress would ever abuse or build on that autocratic cease-and-desist decision, right?
Two days before Christmas 2010 (isn't its dodging timing uncanny?), the Obama administration issued yet new "network neutrality" regulations for Internet service providers. Of course, Julius Genachowski, President Barack Obama's appointee as Federal Communications Commission chairman, introduced these new regulations with the pure motive of guaranteeing equal access to the Internet, right? I agree with Sen. Jim DeMint, who says the FCC should be renamed the "Fabricating a Crisis Commission."
Seeing a pattern yet?