Saturday, April 4, 2009

Can Obama Shut Down the Internet??

The question is being asked, and it is an important one that we all need to pay attention to. Can Obama shut down the internet? The answer will not come as a surprise to most of us. The only ones surprised may be the adoring, leg tingling, messiah worshipers but they will be in denial until it is too late.

With conservative bloggers, talks shows, and the like being considered “terrorists,” this is not too far fetched. In fact, it is getting closer to becoming reality by the moment. Here is what I found thanks to Hot Air Blog.

When Mother Jones and Jules Crittenden agree, isn’t that a sign of the apocalypse? Both take a hard look at the Cybersecurity Act of 2009,
sponsored by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The bill addresses the need to protect vital networks from cyber attack, but it gives a lot of power to the executive branch — perhaps too much power. Mother Jones reports:

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.” The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce “access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.” This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

Jules adds:

You know, if it was the Bush administration, I’d be more inclined to trust them. They sought extraordinary wartime powers, and used them to prosecute the war on terror. Never abused them, though, despite all the squawking.

Jules wonders when the Leftosphere will erupt in outrage. Mother Jones isn’t a bad start, though.

Here are the sections raising eyebrows:

SEC. 14. PUBLIC–PRIVATE CLEARINGHOUSE.

(a) DESIGNATION.—The Department of Commerce shall serve as the clearinghouse of cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information to Federal government and private sector owned critical infrastructure information systems and networks.

(b) FUNCTIONS.—The Secretary of Commerce—

(1) shall have access to all relevant data concerning such networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access; …

SEC. 18. CYBERSECURITY RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITY.

The President— …

(2) may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network; …

The second provision is something less than advertised, I believe. It gives the President the authority to disconnect federal networks from the Internet in the case of cyberattack. That doesn’t seem like an outrageous provision to me; it sounds like a sensible option to protect vital government systems. In fact, I’d be surprised if that power doesn’t already exist within the various federal agencies. This would allow the President to make a blanket order to take networks off line.

That doesn’t make it completely benign, either. That power could get abused to keep people from accessing public information. However, the provision on its own does not equate to “shutting down the Internet”, at least not how I read it.

Section 14 may be a bigger problem. It essentially revokes all privacy safeguards on Internet use for allall times. networks. The Fourth Amendment would go straight out the window with the explicit inclusion of “private sector owned critical infrastructure information systems and networks.” While Section 18 limits jurisdiction to federal networks, Section 14 allows the government to go after private networks without search warrants. The section also doesn’t limit the jurisdiction to acute attacks, either. That jurisdiction exists at

The big problem isn’t that Obama might shut down the Internet. It’s that the bill essentially repeals the Fourth Amendment.


Hat tip: Hot Air Blog


We are going to put an end to the notion that the American taxpayer exists to fund the federal government.

7 comments:

Maggie M. Thornton said...

We have to hope the Senate stops this. Surely those in Congress will not want to be shut down as well.

You've done a great job explaining this Ticker.

Ticker said...

Maggie , the fools we have sitting in DC don't bother to read anything as is evident and will pass the Bill on Party lines in order to appear to be doing something to protect "National Security". If a Republican, not a RINO like Snowe(R-ME) had introduced such a bill the furor would have not ended yet as to how the terrible Republicans and conservatives are trying once again to "shred the Constitution". We've all heard the story before but this one will unfortunately have a different ending because "the One " wants it.

Mustang said...

We should begin to wonder if ANY of our institutions are free from Ă˜bama's assault.

Ticker said...

Very true Mustang. Very true.

The Merry Widow said...

Mustang-Our Constitution was written for a moral people. We, as a nation, no longer ARE moral.

Therefor, it is being trashed and abused, on it's way to the garbage can.

There is nothing that the obamabots want more, than to take complete power, and what is anold document, written by dead white men, to them? It's just something else to destroy!
G*D bless and MARANATHA!

tmw

Always On Watch said...

The big problem isn’t that Obama might shut down the Internet. It’s that the bill essentially repeals the Fourth Amendment.

Exactly.

But does anyone really believe that the Left upholds liberties and our Constitutional rights?

Welcome to Orwellian Days, when all dissent is silenced and archives disappear.

Bubba said...

"But does anyone really believe that the Left upholds liberties and our Constitutional rights?"

The only thing the Left upholds is something that gives them more political, social, and economic control to further their current and future agendas.

They do not care about the damage these agendas and actions inflict upon our nation and our people.

Period.