Senators propose granting president emergency internet power
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Thread: Senators propose granting president emergency internet power

  1. #1

    Senators propose granting president emergency internet power

    There are some who took umbrage with a thread that I posted (on 06-10-2010) in OFF TOPIC about this very subject saying that I was guilty of "scare tactics". Maybe my post was justified and I had a right to be concerned?

    SENATORS PROPOSE GRANTING PRESIDENT EMERGENCY INTERNET POWER
    06-12-2010 3:34 pm - Declan McCullagh - 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 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. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

    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 on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who caucuses with the Democrats.

    Because there are few limits on the president's emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition.

    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."

    The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.

    On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman's bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said "I commend" the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up at a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources."

    Under PCNAA, 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.

    The only obvious limitation on the NCCC's emergency power is one paragraph in the Lieberman bill that appears to have grown out of the Bush-era flap over warrantless wiretapping. That limitation says that the NCCC cannot order broadband providers or other companies to "conduct surveillance" of Americans unless it's otherwise legally authorized.

    Lieberman said Thursday that enactment of his bill needed to be a top congressional priority. "For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," he said. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies--cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals."

    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. (How much the NCCC director's duties would overlap with those of the existing assistant secretary for infrastructure protection is not clear.)

    The NCCC also would be granted the power to monitor the "security status" of private sector Web sites, broadband providers, and other Internet components. Lieberman's legislation requires the NCCC to provide "situational awareness of the security status" of the portions of the Internet that are inside the United States -- and also those portions in other countries that, if disrupted, could cause significant harm.

    Selected private companies would be required to participate in "information sharing" with the Feds. They must "certify in writing to the director" of the NCCC whether they have "developed and implemented" federally approved security measures, which could be anything from encryption to physical security mechanisms, or programming techniques that have been "approved by the director." The NCCC director can "issue an order" in cases of noncompliance.

    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."

    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.

    If there's an "incident related to a cyber vulnerability" after the president has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs' lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the U.S. Treasury will even pick up the private company's tab.

    Another sweetener: A new White House office would be charged with forcing federal agencies to take cybersecurity more seriously, with the power to jeopardize their budgets if they fail to comply. The likely effect would be to increase government agencies' demand for security products.

    Tom Gann, McAfee's vice president for government relations, stopped short of criticizing the Lieberman bill, calling it a "very important piece of legislation."

    McAfee is paying attention to "a number of provisions of the bill that could use work," Gann said, and "we've certainly put some focus on the emergency provisions."

    --------------

    LIBERTYNEWS: Unfortunately, this appears to be legitimate. CNET News is NOT a news outlet that is given to publishing conspiracy theories, as we have recently found EU Times to be, like Alex Jones & some others do. I have occasionally relied on CNET News, as they have been publishing reliable news, going back a full decade plus. So you can imagine how this is VERY disturbing.

    And for those who will inevitably ask "why are you surprised?" the answer is I'm not surprised, but the urgency just got turned up a notch. We've been busy dealing with so many things, WE CANNOT LET THIS PASS! This will literally isolate and strangle our movement, and prepare the way to literally shut down Fox News Channel. This was posted late enough last night (after Midnight Eastern) that I wasn't looking out for breaking news releases, and so I just noticed this:
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

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  3. #2
    Gosh Mom we are all just a bunch of paranoid fanatics. We should not be concerned. The bureaucrats in D.C. are all our friends. They are there to help us. We should all just sit around and sing Kumbaya and everything will be all right. In fact we should adopt the motto of Alfred E. Newman from Mad magazine, "What me worry".
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    Gosh Mom we are all just a bunch of paranoid fanatics. We should not be concerned. The bureaucrats in D.C. are all our friends. They are there to help us. We should all just sit around and sing Kumbaya and everything will be all right. In fact we should adopt the motto of Alfred E. Newman from Mad magazine, "What me worry".
    I'm in such good company, HK.
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  5. #4
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    When they "Nudge. Shove. Shoot.",
    Don't retreat. Just reload.

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    I LIKE THIS BOARD AND IT MIGHT BE TAKEN AWAY. JUST AS WITH MY GUNS I SAY TO OBAMA FROM MY COLD DEAD FINGERS YOU CAN'T TAKE MY INTERNET AWAY.
    Sorry for the caps. I guess obama wants to take away any place that a person can vent there displeasure with the government. Which will give others no other place but to the public to vent.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrebnc1861 View Post
    I LIKE THIS BOARD AND IT MIGHT BE TAKEN AWAY. JUST AS WITH MY GUNS I SAY TO OBAMA FROM MY COLD DEAD FINGERS YOU CAN'T TAKE MY INTERNET AWAY.
    Sorry for the caps. I guess obama wants to take away any place that a person can vent there displeasure with the government. Which will give others no other place but to the public to vent.
    Socialists/progressives, in a position of power, view any discussion, that disagrees with or disapproves of their agenda, as a threat...whether it be private or public forms of communication. This discourse (known to citizens of the United States as "freedom of speech") is considered dissention and is intolerable to a tyrannical government.
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative Wife & Mom View Post
    Socialists/progressives, in a position of power, view any discussion, that disagrees with or disapproves of their agenda, as a threat...whether it be private or public forms of communication. This discourse (known to citizens of the United States as "freedom of speech") is considered dissention and is intolerable to a tyrannical government.
    How many days until November 2 ??? Probelm is, there were some (R)s supporting this bill.... CWM, I think you said in another thread earlier this week that nothing seems to surprise you....I am afraid I have to agree

  9. #8
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    Cool Come ON, Cathy!

    Quote Originally Posted by CathyInBlue View Post
    We'll see what it actually says when they actually publish it.
    Get with the times, Cathy. Don't you know that we have to PASS the bill so that we can find out what is IN the bill.

    YouTube - Pelosi: "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It"
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

  10. #9
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    CW&M, maybe you weren't aware the military is just as dependent on the Internet for routine unclassified information operations as you are dependent on it for spreading Obama FUD?

  11. #10
    wolfhunter Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Cocked _and_Locked View Post
    CW&M, maybe you weren't aware the military is just as dependent on the Internet for routine unclassified information operations as you are dependent on it for spreading Obama FUD?
    So, the government revokes civilian access to all DOD hubs and servers, limits access to college servers to approved research team members, and starts federalizing commercial internet services.

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