Gird your blogs, because if liberals in Congress get their way, President Obama will have sole discretionary authority to shut down the Internet or critical parts of the Internet should he feel his presidency is being tested. Worse, under the guise of cybersecurity, Obama will essentially be granted the power to destroy free speech on the Web.
On April 1 of this year, Sens. Rockefeller, Snowe, Bayh and Nelson introduced bills S. 773 and S.778, collectively called the Cybersecurity Act, which would give President Obama dictatorial power over the Internet during a time of national crisis or emergency.
All of the bills’ sponsors voted for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that prohibited organizations and individuals from running advocacy ads against candidates 60 days in advance of a general election. Now it seems these same people have conjured up a gag order for the Internet.
According to the current drafts, under the Cyber Security Act of 2009, the president may “declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shut down of Internet traffic to and from any comprised federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network.” He may also “order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security.”
What constitutes “cybersecurity emergency” or “critical infrastructure information system or network” is left completely up to the president to define. We know that the administration, according to Rahm Emanuel, never wants “a serious crisis to go to waste.” We also know the administration supports the regulation of free speech on the Internet.
President Obama’s choice to lead the powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is none other than Cass Sunstein, a radical Harvard law professor and supporter of the Fairness Doctrine for the Internet. According to Sunstein, “A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government.”
Obama campaign fundraiser and FCC chairman nominee Julius Genachowski is a supporter of “Net neutrality,” the first step in applying the Fairness Doctrine to the Internet.
“Net neutrality” proponents like Genachowski would have government decide what content Internet operators and network owners must provide. Incredibly, they claim this is to keep the Internet free and open to all, when in reality, their goal is to usher the heavy hands of federal regulators into the tent.
Stifling any venue where ideology competes with left-wing mainstream media has always been a goal of the left and Obama. Obama has just been more evasive in his means by supporting policies such as “net neutrality” and wobbling on the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine to talk radio. Liberal members of Congress are now set on sending America on an unconstitutional beeline away from Uncle Sam and directly to Big Brother.
The Cybersecurity Act also includes a provision where “The Department of Commerce shall serve as the clearinghouse of cybersecuirty threat and vulnerability information to the Federal Government and private sector owned (emphasis mine) critical infrastructure information systems and networks.” Shelving all privacy laws, including the requirement for warrants, the Secretary of Commerce “shall have access to all relevant data concerning such networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access.” Sen. Rockefeller made it clear in his statement what “relevant data” this act could include when he stated, “We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs – from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records – the list goes on.”
While we have worried about cyber-attacks from Russia and China, who would have thought the greatest threat would come from members of our own Congress?
Brad O’Leary is president of ATI-News, best-selling author of “The Audacity of Deceit” and is chairman of the Board of American Radio Free Speech. To interview O’Leary, contact Peyton Knight at 202-828-1202 or by e-mail.