The frenzied grab for power that has characterized each day of the catastrophic Obama Administration continues. The groundwork is now being laid by his toadies in Congress for Chairman Zero to seize control of the Internet:
Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?
Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor — an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure.
Once again we see that the meaningless R must be removed from after the name of liberal apparatchik Olympia Snowjob. She is a Democrat for all intents and purposes, and allowing her to pose as a Republican only provides propaganda cover to the enemy by creating an illusion of bipartisanship.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any "critical" information network "in the interest of national security." The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.
The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.
It was nice knowing you, Fourth Amendment. This after liberals screamed like stuck pigs because the Bush Administration authorized listening to overseas calls made to al Qaeda operatives. W's motive was to make us safe. Not so with the Dems.
Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that granting such power to the Commerce secretary could actually cause networks to be less safe. When one person can access all information on a network, "it makes it more vulnerable to intruders," Granick says. "You've basically established a path for the bad guys to skip down."
Our current rulers' mad lunge for totalitarian powers is so lacking in subtlety that you have to wonder if they expect to have to run for reelection. Given the rhetoric they spewed during the War on Terror, it's surprising they aren't worried that the vast authorities they keep claiming on behalf of the federal government won't be abused by future Republican administrations. They also seem unconcerned that Americans' traditional fondness for liberty will cause us to rebel at the ballot box.