Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Kill Switch

Much ado about nothing would not be apropos in this matter. In fact, there should be more of an uproar in the news, facebook, etc. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3480/text This is the page with the actual bill as it stands now. The language is vague.

Commonly known as The Kill Switch, the government is trying to enact a bill that would give them the right to create a super agency that would govern the internet and all of its infrastructure. It gives them the ability to shut down the internet and over see all aspects of the internet, and in the language of the bill, would be "including programmable electronic devices and communications networks and any associated hardware, software, or data."

Not only are they asking to set up a completely new agency, they want it to "oversee" all other agencies that are part of the internet infrastructure, like the Department of Defense, military, etc. It's not just about some hacker might get on. It even contains provisions to allow it shut down if it perceives any threat MIGHT happen.

Again, language is vague, except where it pertains to the power it has.

Yahoo is currently fighting to keep emails private. They have been ordered by a law enforcement agency to turn over emails without a warrant. Apparently, and I am looking for this rule after reading this article, after a small length of time, opened emails are considered public domain by the government. I will share more here as I find it.

However, I think everyone needs to be aware and vote this down. Not only can the money be better used elsewhere, we need to not close up an avenue of free speech. What if I get a huge following regarding this issue and the government decides its too inflammatory? Under the new bill, they could shut me down. They could say I'm a terrorist because I am dissenting. One of the backers has been quoted as saying that China has something like it. China? Really? We all know how well China deals with protesters and free speech rights. Just ask all those students...

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