When CNET reported on Monday (January 24th) that Lieberman has re-introduced an internet “kill switch” type bill – which would provide a president the power to shutdown the internet – I wondered what type of situation do they envision necessitating such drastic action. This bill would give Obama or any President a dictatorial like power and allow them to bypass the court. Egypt have provided a demonstration of how that can be done and for what purpose. We can argue that we have a Democratic government and the situation in Egypt is unlikely to occur here. However, looking at Joe Lieberman track record, it should cause us to pause and reflect on how this power could easily be abused. Lieberman used his position as chairman of Homeland Security to pressure Amazon, a private company, to take extra-judicial action against a whistleblowing site. This was done without proving guilt or citing what crime Wikileaks is being accused of. Isn’t due process the foundation of democracy and what set us apart from Authoritarianism? It is not hard to imagine what people like Joe Lieberman could do, or how little excuse they would need, to use a law that would allow them to bypass the court. All in an effort to stifle dissenting view, using national security as an excuse.
Retraction: Ok I’ve been chided by fellow blogger about putting Obama ‘s name in the title. Here’s my response.
OK, I’ve renamed the title to remove reference to Obama. If you search google for Obama kill switch, you’ll get all the different media outlet calling it as such. My initial read on the article was this bill was introduced before and involved a Democrat Senator. Obama have also created cybersecurity coordinator and wanted to craft a cybersecurity incident response. Although the Lieberman bill and a joint Republican-Democrat bill before that seems to came out of Obama’s voicing intent to create such response, I decided to remove his name on the title since I can’t find an article where he directly endorses the bill. So I’ll leave it at that.
Thanks for your comments.