If not, consider that President Obama believes the federalized security screening at airports has been such a success that he wants to apply the same government "expertise" to the arenas of online commentary and commerce. The White House's cybersecurity adviser joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Jan. 7 to announce what boils down to a national ID card for the Internet.
As The Washington Times reported, "their plan is straightforward. Instead of logging onto Facebook or one's bank using separate passwords established with each individual company or website, the White House will take the lead in developing what it calls an 'identity ecosystem' that will centralize personal information and credentials. This government-approved system would issue a smart card or similar device that would confirm an individual's identity when making online credit-card purchases, accessing electronic health care records, posting 'anonymous' blog entries or even logging onto one's own home computer, according to administration documents."
The Family Research Council summarized the "benefits" of this new U.S. Internet ID, or dog tag:
--The government would be able to track every website you visit and every keystroke you make on your home computer.
--The government would be able to track every purchase you make and every deposit and withdrawal, and it could gain access to your electronic health care records.
--The government would be able to track every blog comment you make, along with every Facebook and Twitter post.
--The government would be able to create lists of your friends and acquaintances and lists of all your political affiliations, political donations, club memberships, hobbies and interests.
And I'm sure the feds even would be so kind as to provide us with our own passwords! How lucky are we?! From Obamacare to Obamanet! And what's next, a cashless, credit card-less system through which we all receive chips on the backs of our hands or foreheads without which we can't purchase or trade?
You must admit that this Internet must be a scary thing to governments. In particular, as we've seen in Egypt, social networks provide a unique threat; it's called free speech. Political rallies are no longer limited to places like Cairo's Tahrir Square or Washington's National Mall.
Squelching criticism and invoking Internet kill switches are outlandish overreaches and constitutional affronts by executive governmental power, in Egypt or the U.S. And anyone's belief that a government agency could step in and administer civilian networks and servers, even under attack, better than the private companies that own them is naive and just plain idiotic.
But if the feds aren't smart enough to figure that out, then here's a no-brainer for them. In fact, they should have gotten the message loud and clear from watching the Egyptian uprising on CNN or Fox News Channel this past week: Shutting down the Internet in any way will not subdue the people; it will only fuel resistance.
How many times do we patriots have to point it out to these governmental knuckleheads?
Mr. President, you say that you now are patterning your presidency after Ronald Reagan's. Then follow his core advice about expanding government control and regulation: "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."
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