Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Kill The Internet 'Kill Switch'
Virtually the first thing an authoritative Egyptian government did to quell dissent was to shut down its Internet. So why are we debating a bill to give our government the same power? In George Orwell's classic "1984," the control of information and its flow was critical to Big Brother's maintaining his grip on the people and manipulating their passions. Authoritarian governments and dictators worldwide know that lesson well. The ability to see how others live and to exchange ideas is a catalyst to dissent and unrest. The ability to choke off that flow is a necessity for authoritarian governments. The Internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped fuel democratic movements from our own Tea Party to the Iranian dissidents. Which is why we are concerned about the resurrection of a bill that would give our government the ability to shut down part or all of American cyberspace in what the government would declare a "cyber-emergency." Certainly the need for enhanced cybersecurity is clear, but why the ISPs and the government are incapable of protecting their own turf is unclear...more