Friday, June 18, 2010

Reason #421,986 why America should pack it in

From WASHINGTON (CBS4/CNET) Internet Kill Switch Proposed For President:
The days of freedom on the Internet, even during a time of national crisis, may be coming to an [end] under a new U.S. Senate bill. The legislation would grant the president emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet during times of national emergency.

It's been dubbed as an Internet "kill switch" the president could flip. However, the idea behind it 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.
The President of the United States should have the power to shut down the Internet?

Uh . . . no.

The time for niceties has passed: No, America, you do not have the maturity or the sense to be in charge of an "Internet kill switch."

Christ almighty, the United States barely managed its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons during the Cold War.

And after George W. Bush cracked the floor on just what sort of muddled, evil miscreant can take high office in America, such things as an "Internet kill switch" need to be future-proofed against the Sarah Palins, Dick Cheneys and Donald Rumsfelds of tomorrow.

Can you imagine President Sarah Palin when the Bristol Palin Sex Tape comes out? Kill switch! Hell, I can see her hitting the switch if some Web site posted a photo that made her ass look big.

And, of course, the other wretches seeking the Oblong Office would surely use it for far more nefarious, malevolent and self-serving reasons.

Of course, there's little explanation why such a kill switch should exist at all.

The American media was long ago bought-and-sold, hamstrung, made compliant, complacent, tamed, house-broken, obedient, subjugated, subservient, cowering, eager-to-please its masters. They can't jump on the official, phony narratives fast enough.

The kill switch on the free press in the United States was punched around the time of November 22, 1963. Let's not kid ourselves.

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001, going about my morning ritual of news reading as I sipped my first coffee at work. Around the time my wife called to tell me she saw, live, on television a plane hit one of the World Trade Center buildings, I found myself unable to bring up to see what was happening.

I guess the forces who brought the Twin Towers down that day, and subsequently launched the country into two unwinnable wars, chasing boogeymen to the far corners of the world look back with wistful fondness to the ah-shucks carefree days of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy -- back before this troublesome Internet came about with its blogs and on-the-spot videos. This irritating, unpatriotic information-sharing.

Was the Israeli massacre on that Gaza-bound aid flotilla the final straw?

It's one thing to show on a blog the obvious controlled demolition takedown of the World Trade Center buildings, but quite another to show the aftermath of bloodthirsty Israeli commando raid on an unarmed ship.

No, I don't believe the minds that brought us the Department of Homeland Security color-coded threat level system should be anywhere near this mythic "Internet kill switch."

To be honest, given the current state of the Web, part of me would almost welcome a complete wipe.

Afterall, the people who brought us linux from the fruits of their spare time and passion for technology have surely created a better -- albeit command-line-driven -- Web alternative. I'd love to give a try.

I wouldn't mourn the loss of most of the crap that comprises the Web (some may believe this blog is an example). But that's just me.

That's the one good thing about guys like Joe Lieberman, who I've read is among the sponsors of the "kill switch" bill -- if he's only now thinking of such a thing now, then many other, smarter, more soulful people have not only considered the concept, but doubtless have built a workaround to it.

But honestly, pack it in America. Guys like Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton shouldn't be in positions of power or responsibility. Barton should be out in a Texas field, sun shining on his neck, learning firsthand why it's not a good idea to piss in the wind.

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