Dems Move to Seize Control of Internet

The radical leftists currently in control of the federal government know that they have until the November elections to do as much damage to our country and our liberty as possible, and they aren’t wasting a minute. The latest outrage — the Senate is handing Comrade Obama totalitarian power over the Internet. From CNET:

A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.

The legislation announced [last] Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. …

That emergency authority would allow the federal government to “preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people,” Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters…

Note that the nefarious Joe Lieberman is also a sponsor of the latest attempt to deliberately plunge us into a depression with Cap & Tax. Some say Lieberman isn’t so bad, because his fellow moonbats resent him for siding with Israel against its Muslim enemies. But this lone redeeming quality does not make him any less a menace to our country. No one who would participate in Al Gore’s attempt to bully his way into the White House after losing the 2000 election belongs anywhere near a position of authority.

This latest leap forward toward totalitarianism is encountering resistance:

TechAmerica, probably the largest U.S. technology lobby group, said it was concerned about “unintended consequences that would result from the legislation’s regulatory approach” and “the potential for absolute power.” And the Center for Democracy and Technology publicly worried that the Lieberman bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit Internet traffic on private systems.”

“Absolute power” is not hyperbole.

Under PCNAA [Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act], the federal government’s power to force private companies to comply with emergency decrees would become unusually broad. Any company on a list created by Homeland Security that also “relies on” the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. “information infrastructure” would be subject to command by a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) that would be created inside Homeland Security.

Janet Napolitano, who considers our own veterans more of a threat to the country than Islamic terrorists (not that she would ever use such a politically incorrect term as “Islamic terrorist”), may soon determine what you can and cannot read online. Couldn’t happen in America? Welcome to Hopey Change.

As with literally every initiative of our current government, this bill would recklessly expand the federal behemoth’s size and scope.

Lieberman’s proposal would form a powerful and extensive new Homeland Security bureaucracy around the NCCC, including “no less” than two deputy directors, and liaison officers to the Defense Department, Justice Department, Commerce Department, and the Director of National Intelligence. …

The NCCC also would be granted the power to monitor the “security status” of private sector Web sites, broadband providers, and other Internet components. … Selected private companies would be required to participate in “information sharing” with the Feds. …

The prospect of a vast new cybersecurity bureaucracy with power to command the private sector worries some privacy advocates. “This is a plan for an auto-immune reaction,” says Jim Harper, director of information studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “When something goes wrong, the government will attack our infrastructure and make society weaker.”

This is exactly what is happening with the Deepwater Horizon spill. Damage caused by the spill has been bad enough, especially since the government prevented mitigation efforts. But the government’s reaction to the crisis — shutting down oil drilling — will cause far more damage. This is known in Democrat circles as “never letting a crisis go to waste.”

As always with our corporatist rulers, Big Business will be bribed into going along — at our expense.

To sweeten the deal for industry groups, Lieberman has included a tantalizing offer absent from earlier drafts: immunity from civil lawsuits. If a software company’s programming error costs customers billions, or a broadband provider intentionally cuts off its customers in response to a federal command, neither would be liable.

McAfee — a company that I have learned from personal experience cannot be trusted with credit card numbers — calls it a “very important piece of legislation.” Apparently McAfee doesn’t mind trading our liberty for increased sales of their substandard security products to government agencies.

It will take decades even to sort out how many liberties we are losing under this regime. Whether the country will survive long enough to reclaim them is an open question.

On tips from Oiao, J, and Stormfax. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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