Over the last few days, we have seen the unrest in Egypt. One of the most disturbing aspects of this crisis has been the reaction of the Egyptian government. On January 27th, the Egyptian government shut down the Internet in the country, along with cell phone services. The purpose of the shut down was to stop the free communication between groups seeking political change.
In this country, the Internet has revolutionized everything from commerce to democracy. Political parties and groups use the Internet for everything from fund raising to communications to presenting news. While our founding fathers could not have conceived of the Internet when they wrote the First Amendment, if they were alive today, they would certainly embrace the freedom the Internet now gives us.
Senators Collins and Lieberman have introduced a bill entitled, “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.” In the blogosphere, we are referring to it as “the Internet Kill Switch bill.”
Those of us who operate groups or businesses online, particularly those who deal with issues of free speech and politics, are extremely concerned about this bill. It gives the President almost unfettered discretion in a national emergency to shut down parts of the Internet. What is even more disturbing is under the most recent version of this bill, the Federal Courts are denied jurisdiction to review a Presidential decision. This bill presents a huge potential for abuse, and could be almost a virtual repeal of the First Amendment. Put another way, could we ever conceive of a bill from Congress that authorized the President to shut down newspapers?
There is no doubt that there are forces out there that would like to harm our Internet infrastructure. We need to protect that infrastructure, but not at the cost of our basic freedoms.
Tea Party Nation, World Net Daily, Gradegov, Rick Scarbrough and Vision America Action, and Bishop E.W. Jackson of the Conservative Emergency Taskforce call upon Senators Collins and Lieberman to immediately withdraw the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Should they elect not to, we call on the members of the United States Senate to openly place a HOLD on this bill under the new Senate procedures. We would also encourage those Senators to issue press statements as to why this HOLD is necessary."
In the last twenty years, our First Amendment freedoms have changed. Instead of the traditional newspapers or even broadcasting, most Americans now get their information from online sources.
Our First Amendment rights are too valuable to allow a national leader to repeal on because they are offended by political speech or news, Our founding fathers knew to limit the power given a leader who would be angered because that political speech or news was a threat to them. This bill gives too much unfettered power to one person. This is something our founding fathers feared.
To our elected Senators, we say, “Kill this bill!”
I am not surprised. What surprises me is that anyone would assume that Obama would do anything else. He can plead civility, cross the aisle compromise and encourage reasoned bipartisan support for legislation, but it is all a delaying tactic until he recovers politically. This is Moscow circa 1917. It is here that BHO is well read. Do not give up. Do not surrender. Do not capitulate. Folks, it is time to lace 'em up!!!
On the Egypt discussion , we're receiving bits and pieces embellished with alot of propaganda - I believe this is in the end created by the terrorists who have created an unrest in Egypt that will spread thru out many countries. The terrorist promised us that they would take over one country after another and I believe it's happening as we speak. Obama has stuck his neck way out there not knowing more about foreign affairs and it will hurt all of us in the end.
Egypt definitely needs help, but not the kind Obama is offering - he's only adding fuel to the fire.