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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Senate Bill S 773- Can the Government Block Our Access to Internet?


"Where's My Internet?"


There is a bill proposed in the Senate that bears careful scrutiny. It is the so-called Cyberspace Security Act of 2009 proposed by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The text of the bill is contained below:

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s773/text

The stated intent of the bill is to protect cyberspace from intentional disruption, yet critics are afraid that in effect, it would allow the president to shut off private users from the Internet in the event of some "emergency". They also point to the language in the bill that refers to the training and designation of special experts, who would step in and, presumably, take over control of the Internet in some emergency.

I still have an open mind on this idea, but suffice to say, this bears watching with a fair amount of suspicion, especially in light of what is going on in the FCC. The Internet, with all its good and bad, is essential to keeping the flow of information going. Nowhere has this been better illustrated than recently in Iran. Let's remember that China restricts access to the Internet for its own citizens.

The charge has already been made, rightfully or wrongfully, that the Obama Administration is merely waiting for some "event" or "emergency" to occur in order to strip away our ability to access and disseminate information. That may be an exaggeration or completely untrue, but we need to pay close attention to this bill as well as efforts to force a "Fairness Doctrine" on conservative talk radio.

The government in power should not lose sight of the fact that we are the LOYAL opposition.

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