Recognizing the potential danger to their plans and activities, “ For a long time, the control of the American media was in the hands of a small group of publishers and advertisers and with most news filtered through the Associated Press, controlling public opinion was quite an easy task. Then came the Internet. Now, with anyone able to not only access the Internet, anyone else is able to post what they wish, when they wish. As a result, the balance of news reporting has shifted and control is very rapidly passing from a few hands into many. Recognizing the potential danger to their plans and activities, Congress as well as the business community is frantically searching for a way to be able to shut the Internet off when and as they choose. To accomplish this, Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have just 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”
The so-called Cybersecurity Act of 2009 would give 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.
The bill could undermine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA. That law, enacted in the mid ’80s, requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.
Such bills rarely are passed, other than in times of real, or perceived, emergencies and at present, a number of official American agencies routinely conduct totally warrantless-searches of computer mail, telephone and cell telephone messaging and, of course, the failing USPS where mail snooping is a regular practice. There is very little that can be done about this since the worthless Bush instituted a full program following the very convenient 9/11 attacks and once agencies have the unfettered opportunity of snooping on potential enemies of their own agency and the government itself, they will not readily surrender their surreptious powers. “
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