The Internet is abuzz with news that a US Senate committee has approved a bill that apparently gives the President authority to shut down the Internet. According to TechWorld.com, "A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack."
The report continues by saying, "The bill, introduced earlier this month [by Senators Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Thomas Carper, D-Delaware], would establish a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with private US companies to create cybersecurity requirements for the electric grid, telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure."
See the report here.
A PrisonPlanet.com report says this about the bill:
"President Obama will be handed the power to shut down the Internet for at least four months without Congressional oversight if the Senate votes for the infamous Internet 'kill switch' bill, which was approved by a key Senate committee yesterday [June 24] and now moves to the floor.
"The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which is being pushed hard by Senator Joe Lieberman, would hand absolute power to the federal government to close down networks, and block incoming Internet traffic from certain countries under a declared national emergency.
"Despite the Center for Democracy and Technology and 23 other privacy and technology organizations sending letters to Lieberman and other backers of the bill expressing concerns that the legislation could be used to stifle free speech, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the bill in advance of a vote on the Senate floor."
The report continued by saying,
"Fears that the legislation is aimed at bringing the Internet under the regulatory power of the U.S. government in an offensive against free speech were heightened further on Sunday, when Lieberman revealed that the plan was to mimic [communist] China's policies of policing the web with censorship and coercion.
"'Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too,' Lieberman told CNN's Candy Crowley.
"While media and public attention is overwhelmingly focused on the BP oil spill, the establishment is quietly preparing the framework that will allow Obama, or indeed any President who follows him, to bring down a technological iron curtain that will give the government a foot in the door on seizing complete control over the Internet."
See the report here.
Of course, pro-family groups have long lobbied Washington lawmakers to pass regulations restricting objectionable material on the Internet. But Senator Lieberman's bill does more than restrict content on the Internet; it gives the federal government the power to completely shut it down.
My friends, if you have any love for liberty left in your heart, one thing is critical: the Internet must remain free–absolutely, totally unrestricted and free.
I realize that many upstanding, well-intentioned people believe that the federal government should restrict the content of the Internet. But Lieberman's bill should provide ample warning for anyone who believes that the federal government can be trusted with ANY authority it is granted beyond that which is rightly ascribed to it via the US Constitution. Plus, given the propensities of the federal government these days, how long before the definition of "objectionable content" includes your freedom of speech and mine? In plain language, the federal government has no business restricting anything that the Constitution does not permit it to. If we cede the authority to restrict and regulate the content of the Internet to the federal government, we are also ceding to it the power to completely shut down the Internet. And this is exactly what Lieberman's bill does.
The fact is, the Internet is the last bastion of free and unfiltered news and information. And, yes, I understand that there is much misinformation on the Internet. But that is the price of freedom. The individual must be given the liberty to discern right from wrong for himself. As a Christian, I believe this is why God provided the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. And I for one do not need the federal government to try and replace either. And as far as objectionable material being available to children is concerned, this is what parents are for! Good grief! It is bad enough that the federal government has turned into Big Brother; are we going to allow it to become Big Momma and Big Daddy as well?
Ladies and gentlemen, it is essential that the free flow of information be allowed to continue over the Internet. The major news media is a finely filtered, tightly controlled medium that works harder at blocking news and information than it does at delivering it. Virtually every major television and radio network, along with the nation's major newspapers, is an equal opportunity news-suppressor.
Just ask yourself, what would you have known regarding the MIAC report in Missouri had it not been for the Internet? What would you have known about the fiasco in Hardin, Montana, had it not been for the Internet? What would you know about the NAFTA superhighway without the Internet? If not for the Internet, would you ever have learned about the CFR's plans for a North American Community? Where would the Tea Parties be today without the Internet? Where would Ron Paul's campaign in 2008 have been without the Internet? Virtually everything you've learned regarding the State sovereignty momentum that continues to build across this country you've learned from the Internet. Except for a few courageous independent radio talk show hosts, and newspaper and magazine publishers, the vast majority of extremely relevant and critical information relative to freedom is gleaned from the Internet–not to mention the speed with which news and information is able to travel, thanks to the Internet.
It is no hyperbole to suggest that the Internet is the modern patriots' version of the colonists' Committees of Correspondence that sounded the clarion call for liberty and independence at the time of America's founding. And now, power-mad elitists in Washington, D.C., are attempting to provide the federal government with the power and authority to shut it down at will.
What is even more disturbing is the way that private companies and special interest groups are willing to prostitute themselves before the federal government in order to get their own "piece of the pie." Think of it: just about every freedom-grabbing, Big-Government action taken by these modern Machiavellians in Washington, D.C., is facilitated by willing CEOs from Big Business. They gladly assist Big Brother when he wants to spy on us, read our emails, listen to our phone calls, etc. They happily help Big Brother when he wants to eavesdrop inside our homes, examine our financial records, or snoop on our private lives. When Big Brother says, "Jump!" they ask, "How high?" Then–like these hypocrites in Washington, D.C.–they have the audacity to wave the flag on Independence Day and shout, "America: the land of the free!" As if they are blameless in freedom's demise.
Mark it down: if the federal government ever shuts down the Internet, it will be business as usual for Washington, D.C., and its fellow travelers in Big Business; but We the People will be out of business, and so will freedom. Regardless of what side of any issue you and I may come from, it is critical that the Internet remains absolutely and totally free.
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.