At one time or another the various forms of communicating to ones friends, those of like mind and or similar interests, or “the world at large”, was (and is) one of the major “selling points”, to having a computer and access to the internet. There were bbs’s, there were IRC chat rooms, UseNET, AOL, YAHOO, discussion boards for every taste and fancy. Then there was Geocities, Live Journal, Blogspot, Blogger. Add to this the availability of publishing platforms (used with a hosting service) like Movable Type and Word Press, and it became easy enough for anyone to have a voice on the “web”.
This allowed the internet to become the new public square. A place where anyone with a desire to do so, could build their own soapbox and have their say on anything and everything. Any number of people could (and have) become the twenty-first century version of “the town crier” of old, or envision themselves as modern day “pamphleteers”. And more then a few consider themseleves to be “the new media”, electronic journalists, digital versions of Edward R Murrow.
I can’t say as I don’t agree with them. It was the combined actions of a number of “bloggers” who called out Dan Rather (and to an extent CBS) when they tried to use outright fake “documents” as legitimate source information, in their attempt to denigrate President Bush. The actions of a number of individuals, and groups of individuals, in the gathering, vetting and release of evidence to bring this about, as quickly as it was done, would not have been possible with out there being an “internet” available.
And now there is this.
Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to “direct the national response to the cyber threat” if necessary for “the national defense and security.” The White House is supposed to engage in “periodic mapping” of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government. (“Cyber” is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)
As noted in the above article, this is the revised version. The original was much more specific on what could be done to whom, and who could do it. Given the track record of the current administration, along with the leaders of the house and senate, even the “watered down version” gives me the willies. And don’t get me wrong here, I would have issues with this regardless of which party was in power. Neither has shown any restraint in their pursuit of ever increasing power and control over “We the People”. The Republicans may have been a bit slower at going where they wanted to go, or have been more prone to doing it with a “wink and a nod” toward at least using it for “national security purposes only”, but they have their own group of elitists, and agendas too.
As for the current bunch in power in two of the three branches of government, if you think “national security” is going to be where they would draw the line, the minute the ink is dry on this bill, should it pass … I have a great real estate deal for you involving a former government building in downtown Chicago.
Go hit the link above and read same, go read the bill itself. If it doesn’t give you a chill down your spine, you might want to check for a pulse … or a soul.