Take a minute to think about how many times each day you use a computer to complete routine and usually mundane tasks.
Now, imagine life without your high speed access to the Internet. You would lose the ability to read the online newspapers or watch video-linked news broadcasts, access Facebook, Twitter, or Skype – or email or chat with friends. Or even purchase products through eBay or Amazon, or pay your bills online.
The recent events in Egypt have generated a lot of interest about a government’s ability to regulate and potentially shut down the Internet.
On January 27, 2011, thousands of Egyptian citizens flooded the streets of Cairo, Egypt to protest against the Egyptian government. Two days later, Internet was blocked for five days. Why would a government order a shutdown of the Internet? Put simply, the Egyptian protesters were using social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to organize the massive protests. The Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak ordered the country’s four major Internet service providers to shut down service.
Meanwhile, in the United States – in his third attempt to takeover the Internet – Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate introduced the Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act of 2011. In 2009, the Obama Administration attempted to enact the Cybersecurity Act of 2009. It never got out of committee even though the Democrats had a firm majority in both Houses. In 2010, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act fared no better – even though Obama had a supermajority in both Houses and did not need one GOP vote to enact any piece of legislation he wanted.
On February 17, 2011, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Carper (D-DE), with the blessing of Harry Reid and others, introduced the Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act of 2011. After being read twice, it was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. This bill, like the first two, was a direct assault on our First Amendment rights. Why? Because the federal courts have already told the federal government that the rights of the people to use the Internet is protected by free speech – not once, but three times!
THE CYBERSECURITY & INTERNET FREEDOM ACT IS NOT ABOUT INTERNET FREEDOM. IT IS A DIRECT ASSAULT ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT!
Although the “tricky” wording, which is in the preamble of the law and not in the code being written, says for the President should not be allowed to control shutting down the Internet, not that he does not have that authority to do it if he feels so compelled. The bill gives him, along with his newly appointed Office of Cyberspace Policy Director, the authority to DECLARE an national emergency which can limit YOUR access to the Internet if the federal government feels threatened, or believes a cyberattack may be imminent. Like how Hosni Muburak or Moumar Gaddafi felt threatened?
The “tricky wording” in the preamble of that bill – which is not found anywhere in the language of the code – makes it appear the legislation forbids the White House from issuing an Executive Order that will shut down your access to the Internet. That verbiage is the result of our advocacy in December that crushed the 2010 version of the 2009 Cybersecurity Act which allowed him to do precisely that. The preamble was added to the 2011 version of the bill on the belief that when people Google the bill and read the “should not” in the preamble, they will conclude Obama “can not.”
Senator Lieberman’s bill would establish an Office of Cyberspace Policy within the White house to coordinate the federal and private-sector response to Internet security risks. Never mind that Mr. Obama already appointed a U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator with the same mission in 2009. In 2006, the U.S. Congress created the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, with most of the same functions. Here we go again — another government “over-reach.”
It’s almost like a “blueprint” of the “Internet Kill Switch” from the 110th Congress, but now it has be “re-invented” with a “warm-and-fuzzy” title meant to allay concerns.
The Washington Times says:
“The Cybersecurity and Internet freedom Act of 2011 remains unchanged in key respects. It still gives the White House authority to declare a vaguely defined ‘cyber emergency’ that empowers bureaucrats to issue directives to Internet companies with which they must ‘immediately comply.’ All this would be done in the name of a threat to national security that has been wildly overhyped. ‘We know that cyber intruders have probed our electrical grid and that in other countries cyber attacks have plunged entire cities into darkness,’ Mr. Obama said in May 2009 remarks on cybersecurity.”
When you are trying as hard as Obama is to convince the American people just how much of a threat cyberterrorism is to the American people, paint it with a really wide brush.
Over the past months, the Liberals and the Left have made their wishes known for supposed “Fairness Doctrine” or “Net Neutrality.” Their official response to the Conservative is…“SHUT UP!” That’s right; they cannot take the “heat” from all these Conservative talk-shows that literally EXPOSE THE TRUTH, especially when it comes to freedoms on the Internet.
Thank goodness, there are people like you who will not remain quiet. I know you will not take your “shut up” marching orders from Mr. Obama or any of his lieutenants when they use the leftwing media to chastise you for politically-incorrect speech.
The FCC – or perhaps we should call it the Federal Censorship Commission — rather than being a constitutional agency to protect people from government interference to free speech, are proving to be just one more instrument to silence dissent by creating – under the auspices of “Internet freedom – one more “Board” or “Commission” to regulate constitutionally-protected free speech.
THE FCC was the “caretaker” of the “Fairness Doctrine.” Now, the Obama Administration, by executive order, has expanded its authority to the point where it would be more appropriate to call it the “Federal Censorship Commission” since Obama wants it to assume of the mantle of caretaker of the media’s Fairness Doctrine and what is known as “Net Neutrality.” Why is that so important to Mr. Obama? Because Internet free speech gave birth the Tea Party and the Voter Revolution in 2010. What would happen if that unrest spread in 2012?
Is there an “Internet cybercrisis?” No. Within the last fews weeks, the number of media reports on attempted cyberattacks on state and municipal website have mushroomed. One northeastern state cut off all external emails to the state office it said were affected by cyberattacks aimed at breaking into the email server. Failed attempts to break into government servers are commonplace and, thus, don’t rise to the level of a crisis – unless the government needs a crisis to propel an unpopular piece of legislation into to Oval Office for signing. Then, it’s a crisis.
What we are seeing is government flexing its muscle to control the Internet. They are creating one cybercrisis after another to “test the waters,” looking for the right crisis to wash away public resistance to tight Internet controls.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) apparently believes in free speech “…except in times of war.” Does he believe in the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality?
U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), reacting to the Arizona shootings, called for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. He said: “Free speech is as free speech does… Some of what I hear, and (what) is being called free speech, is worse than that.”
U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA), who sits on the Judiciary Committee, counters with: “The Fairness Doctrine is one of those nicely named things that are just completely wrong. The American people decide who they want to listen to. The federal government can’t be deciding what fair speech is, and neither can Mr. Clyburn.” Free speech is the right of citizens to speak what’s on their mind. When they think government is wrong, the Constitution protects their right to say so. Abridge that right and we are no longer a free people.
Control of the Internet by the federal government has already been ruled un-Constitutional by three different federal judges in three distinct cases. Yet, Mr. Obama and his cohorts are determined to wrest control the Internet from the American people who are using it to voice their views on a myriad of topics with which the left usually disagrees. That’s why your fax and donation are so vitally important! Here is the bottom line: The regulation of the Internet by the FCC, and by the Obama Administration, is absolutely downright ILLEGAL!
The United States Constitution does not give government a blanket grant to rule! The role of the Executive Branch is not to legislate, nor adjudicate. They serve as the administrators, not rulers. This move is blatantly unconstitutional as well as illegal. Worse than that — the White House knows it.
Our free speech freedoms are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, not the whims of government. This is so important, that I really need to hear from you today. And please, after you fax Congress,email this to everyone on your personal email list.
Please ACT IMMEDIATELY to make sure that the “Cyber Security and Internet Freedom Act of 2011” is soundly defeated. “We the People” are really getting sick and tired of this continual invasion of our privacy and the ongoing attacks against our United States Constitution.
Your financial sacrifice to AmeriPAC will assist us in making sure that no bureaucrat controls YOUR Internet!
P. S. Please help to STOP this constant abrogation of our rights and freedoms as American citizens. Please help to remind Congress that they are to UPHOLD and DEFEND the U.S. Constitution! And you will not be bullied into “shutting up!”