Government and the Internet


Senator John Rockefeller, West Virginia introduced a bill, S.773 – Cyber-security Act of 2009
OpenCongress provides a summary of the bill that has no co-sponsors:

This is comprehensive legislation designed to address our nation’s vulnerabilities to cyber crime, global cyber espionage, and cyber attacks. It would establish a new Cyber-security Advisory Panel within the White House and stream-line the cyber-security effort through all levels of government. The bill also calls on the Department of Commerce to establish and maintain a clearinghouse on information related to cyber-security threat and vulnerability information to public and private infrastructure deemed “critical” by the President. The Secretary of Commerce would be given access to this information “without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.” The bill would also give the President new authority to “declare a cyber-security emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network.”

The bill proposes that the President establish or designate a Cyber-security Advisory Panel to advise the President, and the key red flag is that the President will be given an additional authority to:

declare a cyber-security emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States official infrastructure information system or network.

The major problem with this is not the authority to act against a violation of cybersecurity, but the fact the bill does not limit the authority of the President concerning the Internet.
Examine the bill at Open Congress and enter your vote of approval or disapproval.
Websites that advocate freedom of the Internet, like Save The Internet, organize to form a protective coalition of a major source of freedom of speech and information.
Rep. David Wu, Oregon, is considering sponsoring a House version of the resolution passed on Tuesday that condemns the cyber attack against Google that originated from China. Juliana Gruenwald wrote at National Journal, February 4th:

In an interview, Wu said he also may introduce binding legislation that would establish an Internet freedom institute to educate and advocate for Internet freedom. Wu, the chairman of the Science and Technology Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, said such an institute also would be charged with sponsoring research into technologies aimed at helping citizens bypass measures imposed by foreign countries to restrict or censor access to information. Wu introduced a resolution last June that said the United States has “grave concerns” about China‘s Green Dam filtering system, which blocks access to some Web sites and information for users in China. …

Congressional members who whined about President GW Bush and his unconstitutional authorities established in the name of national security, are now trying to pass legislation of the same genre.
Google began to stop censoring its searches in China in January of 2010


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