Friday, June 11, 2010

Lieberman Attacks First Amendment

Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010

Cnet reports that Senator Joe Lieberman has announced a 197 page bill (PDF) which would give the President broad power over the internet.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010’’.

First, "cyberspace" is a concept invented to describe a network of interconnected computers. There is no such place. You clicked a link, which was translated into a number, which connected your computer to a server which downloaded a file which you are reading. The internet is basically a telephone switching system that transfers digital data instead of voices.

The servers and infrastructure connecting them are privately owned. They are not national assets, they are private assets.

"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."

Anyone who is rational and informed will have firewalls, anti-virus software and other protection against hijacking his computer or network. Only a damn fool would put vital security information in a readily accessible database.

Common sense dictates that ladder logic systems vital to safety and productivity, whether it be cnc tools, water pumps, chemical mixing, refineries or electric grids not be accessible to everyone with a modem. You put them on a private network isolated from the internet if you have any sense. And you use the best security software available.

Because some Chink or Ruski is pinging the Pentagon we should shut down the whole internet? Prevent all access to blogs, web sites, search engines, VOIP, etc. when cutting off or firewalling one node is sufficient to solve the problem? Lieberman & co. are either incompetent or dishonest. In either case, they should be removed from office in their next election cycle.

Has anyone considered the possibility that routers, hardware firewalls and servers should be designed and built domestically, not somewhere in Asia where the staff may include Communists, Muslims or common criminals whose interests are inimical to ours? Where is the firmware being written, and by whom?

The President may issue a
13 declaration of a national cyber emergency to covered
14 critical infrastructure. Any declaration under this
15 section shall specify the covered critical infrastruc-
16 ture subject to the national cyber emergency.

‘‘(A) immediately direct the owners and
2 operators of covered critical infrastructure sub3
ject to the declaration under paragraph (1) to
4 implement response plans required under sec-
5 tion 248(b)(2)(C);

It is too broad and too bureaucratic. Exactly what is in the response plans? Would that include cutting off access to the Drudge Report & World Net Daily? Obama would like nothing better than to silence his critics. The First Amendment is intended to prevent that sort of usurpation.

We have a First Amendment because the founders remembered the Stamp Act. They knew that the right to publish and distribute pamphlets & broadsides was essential to maintaining an informed electorate. In modern times, new technology is performing the same essential function and must be protected for the same reason.

Now is the time to visit and tell your Representative & Senators to vote no on the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 and any similar proposal to seize power over the internet.


Ema Nymton said...


Ali Ben Ali Mohammad Abdul,

As I recall you are one of the people who scream that the Constitution _must_ be read literally with absolutely no room for common sense interpretation. (Can't have them thar 'activists judges' involved in the the law!)

"Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Constitution as written by the "founding fathers" does not make any reference to the internet. Thus, one can clearly see the Constitution of US does _not_ apply to the internet.

Ema Nymton

Ema Nymton said...