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Emergency Government Control of the Internet? 853

TheZid writes "A newly proposed bill would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency.' As usual, our government is trying to take away our privacy by citing security. What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? How about disconnecting bloggers that criticize his health care reform? What counts as an emergency? Can political opponents be deemed a cyber-security emergency?"
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Emergency Government Control of the Internet?

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  • Hands off! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:00PM (#29233557)
    That'd be like turning off the power grid if there was an emergency... What's the point?

    If the government is being attacked, then I would think they would want to take themselves off the 'net, but taking off everyone is just stupid.
  • Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by janeuner ( 815461 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:00PM (#29233563)

    Someone needs emergency control to disconnect Uncle Sam from the internet.

  • by PontifexMaximus ( 181529 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:02PM (#29233581)

    not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for, but also to our country as a whole. Look back in history and see how 'Empires' in their death throes squeeze more and more, tighten controls more and more to hold onto what is obviously disintegrating.

    It's like a fistful of sand, the harder you squeeze, the more that slips through your fingers.

  • Fooled again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UndyingShadow ( 867720 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:02PM (#29233595)
    Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.
  • by popo ( 107611 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:04PM (#29233627) Homepage

    I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a single industry left that doesn't rely heavily on the Internet. Shutting down the Internet is the same as shutting down the economy.

  • by gapagos ( 1264716 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:05PM (#29233641)

    Except for the fact that in the U.K. you have security cameras following you everywhere.
    Actuallly that might just be London.

  • Re:Fooled again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:06PM (#29233663)

    exactly - imagine the outrage and vitriol we would have seen had this occurred a year ago.

  • by V4L3R4 ( 1526175 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:08PM (#29233695)
    No, they are pretty much everywhere. Not that it does us much good since a security camera won't stop you getting stabbed.
  • by snl2587 ( 1177409 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:09PM (#29233725)

    not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for

    Then how are you posting?

  • by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:10PM (#29233729) Homepage

    I love the suggestion that this would be used to strangle public blogging against the plan to kill our grandmothers by forcing down their throats the unborn children of the last of our unsterilized white teen girls.

    How perfectly nutty. And by "perfect" I mean overwhelmingly beautiful.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:10PM (#29233739) Journal

    The 9th and 10th Amendments will suffice. We just need to surround the Supreme Court and force the judges to read them, rather than ignore them.

    BTW is this the "change" you were looking for? ;-)

  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:11PM (#29233749) Homepage Journal

    Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform?

    I think people who believe this level of stupidity deserve to be disconnected from the Internet. They are fucking damage, and I'm getting tired of routing around them.

  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:13PM (#29233781) Journal
    Look, there are a TON of legitimate complaints about this bill.

    Abuse of government powers in violation of free speech for political gain, etc, shouldn't be included. Those issues have already been addressed... the federal government already has the ability to step in and limit free speech in private channels if there is clear and present danger. The potential for abuse is already there, and has been there all along. This bill in no way affects that.

    Your ridiculous leading questions detract from the real issues, which are outlined in TFA (for people that oppose a bill like this).

    IMO, instead of "ZOMGWTF Totalitarian State Abusing Government Powers for Political Gain!", the real issue here is that critical infrastructure is in the hands of private for-profit corporations. These companies have the ability to hamstring the US economically through unilateral action (or even by accident). Critical infrastructure should be nationalized, in my opinion, or at the very least very closely supervised to ensure it is secure.

    But I imagine that my views are contrary to the majority of slashdotters, and I expect to be modded into oblivion. No one wants the goobermint in their internets, even when oversight is necessary to maintain the integrity of our economy (such as it is), especially in the face of a directed and concerted attack on that infrastructure.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:14PM (#29233809) Homepage
    'Tis a shame that the government considers us citizens the enemy, even more of a threat than any outside force.

    Watch what is happening very closely and pay attention. You're seeing the fall of a once great republic.
  • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:14PM (#29233811)
    The UK, as we all know, has a great reputation for complete freedom and non-big-brother-government behavior.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:1, Insightful)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:18PM (#29233879)

    I can see a need to be able to shut down the net in an emergency but getting it done wouldn't be so simple. For example suppose that some really potent software got lose that enabled bank accounts to be easily raided. A shut down of the net might save the national economy and give a bit of time to find a defense against the new malware. Or another need might be something like a sudden enemy attack where it is known that the enemy is using the net to direct weapons or reveal targets.
                    The basic point being that not all legislation is designed to somehow restrict our freedom or do us harm.

  • Re:Summary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blueg3 ( 192743 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:19PM (#29233897)

    He didn't even point out that Obama's middle name is "Hussein".

  • by LitelySalted ( 1348425 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:20PM (#29233909)

    I don't think this is really that outlandish. Considering that the Obama administration has recently appointed new chairs for the Internet or the number of posts, on Slashdot alone, that talk about how internet security is the new method for waging wars, what about this is surprising people?

    No one likes the idea of losing freedoms during peace times, but the second something terrible happens, people will throw it away for a blanket.

    Let's face it, the majority of people out there have no idea how a computer works. It is essentially magic to them. They don't know what a "Zombie" computer is or that they are possibly assisting in a DDOS attack. The government may need to act and unfortunately they won't be able to discern who is a good computer user and who is not, so everyone is going to get cut.

  • by Churla ( 936633 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:20PM (#29233911)

    A) Who defines a "critical system"? Whoever that is would be wielding some serious power.
    B) Is the Internet itself (i.e. the backbones which carry most traffic) considered a "critical infrastructure information system"?
    C) If so, they he would have the kill switch to Mae East, Mae West, etc.... That is for all effects and purposes the ability to shut down US access to the Internet.

  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:23PM (#29233949) Homepage

    not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for

    Uh, you FOUGHT and DIED for the basic freedom to send packets over the Internet? a) I didn't know the dead could post, b) I was unaware of any war fought over the right to send packets, and c) I was unaware that net access was a basic freedom.

    Look, I'm as wary of the government as anyone, and the language in this proposal does sound overly broad. But government authority to cut the wire to compromised networks in an emergency might just be a good idea.

  • Privacy? Where? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:23PM (#29233957)

    While it's quite a lot of things, being disconnected from the Internet is NOT a breach of my privacy. I hadn't heard that Echelon was dismantled, so I'm pretty sure that anything I send out unencrypted is being parsed (and anything encrypted stored for future reference) even without this particular emergency order. My stuff on my computer is still on my computer.

    And I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but frankly it's about time that this kind of thing was talked about and put into law. The bits of the Internet that are on sovereign US territory are most certainly vital national infrastructure by now, and the law needs to be updated. It's long past time that the US government, and the US population woke up to the threat vectors presented by the Internet, and deal with the hard questions surrounding what to do when the "cyber war" eventually happens, whether it's concerted non-state entities mounting an attack against Internet connected infrastructure or government/military Internet areas, or state entities. If we have finally decided, or are close to deciding, what level of "attack" through networks constitutes a declaration of war (and if we haven't, we damn well should be doing THAT too), then the POTUS as Commander In Chief needs to be able to do the kind of crap you do in an attack on your country. And putting into law is a LOT better than letting whomever is the President at the time make up his powers in that situation from the ether like the Bush Administration did. This particular bill may or may not be the correct answer, I haven't read it. Something like this, however, is going to and should be put in place. I'm all for using the political process to make it the best possible bill, but acting like the government shouldn't ever be able to do this kind of thing is fantasy.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kral_Blbec ( 1201285 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:25PM (#29233993)
    There is always someone who tries to rationalize it
  • by frazamatazzle ( 783144 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:29PM (#29234069)
    otherwise I might see some posts with wildly hysterical hypotheses of what is for sure gonna happen that have nothing to do with the actual bill in the article.
  • Re:Fooled again? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:32PM (#29234109)
    I'm pleasantly surprised that even here on ./ people are waking up to realize that Obama is as bad if not worse than Bush. Last year had Obama done this, he would have been lauded as visionary.
  • by jeffshoaf ( 611794 ) * on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:35PM (#29234147)

    It's like a fistful of sand, the harder you squeeze, the more that slips through your fingers.

    More like a fistful of liver - it still slips out, but both the fist and the squeezin's end up all bloody.

    My appologies to anyone eating while reading this...

  • Re:Fooled again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:37PM (#29234185) Journal

    If this were GWB the left would be (Rightfully) screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm not going to hold my breath though.

    Because we all know that GWB = Evil and BHO is just misguided but good hearted.

  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:40PM (#29234221)

    not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for, but also to our country as a whole. Look back in history and see how 'Empires' in their death throes squeeze more and more, tighten controls more and more to hold onto what is obviously disintegrating.

    You know, after the Roman Republic turned into the Empire (with the attendant loss of freedoms), it survived for over 400 years. And we're nowhere near that point - no US presidents are ex-generals who conquered Washington, D.C. with their troops.

    This is not the end.

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:42PM (#29234251) Journal

    What you mean is, how did this stupid idea make it into the U.S. Senate?

  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <> on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:50PM (#29234381) Homepage

    Say we get in a war with China and they attack our power stations in the US via a massive cyber attack - do you want there not to be guidelines at that time?

    Sensitive facilities like power stations should not be directly connected to the internet in the first place!

  • Re:Fooled again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:51PM (#29234391) Journal

    If this were GWB the left would be (Rightfully) screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm not going to hold my breath though.

    If you'll bother to think back 10 years ago, you'd recall that the slashdot hivemind was just as outraged over Clinton's Echelon.

    If you're not going to hold your breath, could you at least move over a bit, you're in the way of our screaming.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:59PM (#29234513) Journal

    I can not lay my hand on any part of the U.S. Constitution that allows a president or congress to declare martial law.

    Nor should such a power ever exist. Time-and-time again the phrase "declared martial law" has prefaced the eventual takeover by dictators from the present-day, all the way back to the when Julius Caesar took-over Rome. The Declaration of War should be sufficient to indicate a state-of-heightened alertness. We don't need jackbooted thugs suspending the Constitution, and then quartering themselves in our homes, or other abuses of the citizens.

    Just ask a japanese-American citizen circa 1944 how they felt.

  • by Halotron1 ( 1604209 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @02:59PM (#29234517)

    When some news comes out about Obama's administration and some are condemning it but others are defending it...

    It's only a matter of time before you get the posters saying:

    "If GWB did this, the liberals would be screaming!"


    Similar to the "In Soviet Russia" meme. :)

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:04PM (#29234593) Journal

    It seems very alarmist. I don't see how dropping private computers off the net is an invasion of privacy either. This type of law is created for a "worst case" scenario. While people might not think it very possible, you DO need to plan for it - not unlike disaster recovery in IT. Say we get in a war with China and they attack our power stations in the US via a massive cyber attack - do you want there not to be guidelines at that time? There is a balance between freedom and national security, and the original poster seems to be much more of a sky-is-falling type in regards to this type of law.

    Well, in your scenario, wouldn't it be easier, faster and less intrusive if they just took the power stations of the grid (Internet grid, not power grid... that'd just be stupid)?

    If they were attacking banks, ask the banks to go offline (trust me, they'll do this gladly in a heartbeat) and/or take the Fed off line.

    If an attack coming from China or wherever is attacking everything... then take down the routers at our borders.

    If they are attacking the nuke silo's... well hell I hope those are not on the grid anyway!!!

    and so on.

    Seriously, I can think of no national emergency that would require the entire Web going off line that couldn't be solved by some simpler and much less drastic means. Well, except for something like the blogosphere and some unnamed news network with FOXxy reporters is saying bad things about the President. Something tells me that is the emergency that this bill is intended for.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by something_wicked_thi ( 918168 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:06PM (#29234611)

    They already have.

    (Hint: our weapons are not our guns; try reading the PATRIOT act sometime)

  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:07PM (#29234643) Journal

    That's one solution. Another solution rather than act like rambo and kill a bunch of innocent Koreans..... is to take a measured response, realize the amount of counterfeit dollars is less than 1/100th of a percent, and then accept the fact that it's not really that bad. Nor are all problems solvable.

    Besides what Korea is doing is no worse than what the non-government *private* Federal Reserve has been doing - printing bonds, giving these pieces of paper to companies, and then buying them back with dollars. In essence printing money. THAT'S going to cause far more harm (via devaluation of your savings by ~10% per year) than a few counterfeit notes.

  • Re:Where Were You? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gangien ( 151940 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:07PM (#29234645) Homepage

    But what I do want to know right now is where were you the past 8 years?

    What the FUCK are you talking about? I would think you're a troll but your persistence makes that a little bit less likely.

    Enlighten me on what sort of criticism free ride bush had during his 8 years? Excluding the few months after 9/11. And it's especially weird posting that on slashdot.

    Where were you for 8 years? If you weren't submitting those stories or too busy stopping them to post, then go back under whatever rock you came from. The rest of us are trying to clean up that mess, and you're tracking it all over the floors.

    You're trying to clean up the mess by giving the government more control or something? Because so far all I see is pretty much Bush 2.0, only Obama is better looking and charming and gives better speeches, which are pretty superficial reasons to like a guy, especially as our president. Let's go down a few points shall well?

    - Iraq war policy? the same as Bush's
    - Afghanistan? pretty identical to me. Wait, now we need more troops?
    - Enemy combatants, can still be held indefinitely, but hey, we're closing down Gitmo!!! which changes nothing and is just a political maneuver.
    - Money to big corporations? Well, I don't think this is hard to follow.
    - Civil Liberties? The writing was on the wall before Obama was in office, he voted for that FISA bill or whatever the hell it was.
    - Torture? Obama has left enough loop holes for plenty of this.

    My question is, why hasn't Obama received the kind of criticism Bush did? But, to be fair, I think he's starting to get it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:10PM (#29234691)
    The U.S. government is very, very corrupt. Someone plans to use emergency powers to make money, probably.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:17PM (#29234791) Homepage
    Agreed. Prior administrations are to blame, too. This has been coming for some time. Let's hope that the American people wake up soon enough to stop it.
  • by Halotron1 ( 1604209 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:19PM (#29234813)

    This post hereby claimed as evidence of the new "If GWB did this" meme

  • Re:Hands off! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:19PM (#29234817)

    The real question is how is it possible for there to be a "cyber-security emergency"? Not being able to reach youtube or google or slashdot or microsoft via the internet for a day or two isn't an emergency. If the counter example is not being able to reach a nuclear power plant's cooling control system or some other utility, then I have to wonder who put such a critical systems on an unsecured, unreliable network and why aren't those people in jail for being a bunch of incompetent twats?

  • Re:Backwards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maniacal ( 12626 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:20PM (#29234829)

    The prior administration is to blame for a newly proposed bill. Brilliant.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:25PM (#29234869)
    Maybe YOU should take a look at the 16% who don't have health insurance and find out why they don't. Some are eligible for Medicaid and won't sign up, some are young people who think they don't need insurance (they're immortal), some are illegal aliens, and some are self-insured (i.e. rich). So, when you look at it again, your 16% is really much, much smaller.

    Get a clue. This legislation has NOTHING to do with health care. It has EVERYTHING to do with CONTROL. Do you really think politicians are doing you a favor? Then ask them why they won't give up their own gold-plated coverage and take the plan they want you to have.
  • Re:Obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by St.Creed ( 853824 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:27PM (#29234895)

    The current Administration is afraid of the Citizens. I Wonder why that is? Could it be out of control spending? Congressional leaders(?) calling concerned people a rabble? Those same Congresscritters doing what they want in spite of the wishes of their districts?

    No wonder the far left are the ones who push for gun control, their policies are the ones that will cause armed insurrection.

    I hate to interrupt while you're all frothing at the mouth at a nice steady pace there, but why not try reading the article first?

  • Re:Let them do it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:30PM (#29234943)

    As long as they aren't disconnecting me from the internet then fine.

    As long as they aren't telling me I can't smoke, then fine.

    As long as they aren't telling me I can't drink, then fine.

    As long as they aren't telling me I can't vote, then fine.

    As long as they aren't telling me anything, then fine.

    Problem is, with that attitude it's guaranteed that sooner or later they're going to tell you can't do something that isn't fine with you. That's the nature of government, and the "fuck you, Jack, I"m all right" approach just doesn't work in the long run. You see, your rights don't end where mine begin ... they're one and the same, and if we don't take care of each other in this regard, we all suffer.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:34PM (#29235009) Journal
    I think that this "internet emergency" stuff is bullshit.

    However the slimy hordes of "patriots" who cheered for extrajudicial surveillance, rendition, and torture; but are now screaming about secession because obama threatens their internet make me sick.

    It isn't just on this issue, it crops up all over. Whenever Obama indulges in his (far too frequent) vice of endorsing Bush policies, only more eloquent, the howls go up from the hordes who were shouting down opponents of the very same policies, back when the were Bush's.

    For fuck's sake, people, do we have political principles, or just political teams?
  • Re:Fooled again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NiteShaed ( 315799 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:35PM (#29235025)

    I'm actually aiming this at pretty much all of the sibling posts so far.....

    So, since she doesn't walk in perfect lock-step with the "core" of the Republican party, she's not really a Republican? Apparently the GOP disagrees, since she's y'know, a member of the party.

    This kind of thinking drives me crazy. If the only point of a politician was to enforce their party's goals with no room for disagreement, then why bother having more than three people in each house of Congress? We could just assign one member of each party to be "The (party affiliation here) Senator" or "The (party affiliation here) Representative", and have an election to see which party picks up the extra person to give their party the majority. Then they could just function as a mouthpiece for the party, and do away with all that independent thinking stuff. In the event of a tie, the third chair stays empty.

    Honestly, we need more congress-people who pay less attention to party directives and think for themselves, not less.

  • Racism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:36PM (#29235045)

    Criticism of Obama makes you a racist, didn't you know?

    Also, you're a racist if calling you a racist advances a leftist agenda. And if you defend yourself, you're just like a Klan member.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:42PM (#29235115) Journal
    Most of the founders of this republic considered a government run amok the greatest threat to its citizens. They tried to protect future generations from their own foolishness. Unfortunately foolishness is a persistent and powerful force.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atlantis-Rising ( 857278 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:45PM (#29235147) Homepage

    Any succession by any state would be illegal, and it has been that way for more than a hundred years.

    With respect to your signature, and it's pertinent: Five guys and a moving van are also strong enough to take everything you have.

  • Re:Obvious (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:46PM (#29235163)

    It's a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress. The administration has nothing to do with it. Don't worry You have as much of the facts right as Rush does on any given subject.

  • Re:Hands off! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:47PM (#29235187)
    What I think would be scary is them abusing this for something non-digital (and in all honesty its impossible with sane security practices to have a "cyber-disaster") in order to cover up wrongdoings.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @03:49PM (#29235233)

    Ironically, many here believe that the blue party is more in line with civil (e.g. digital) liberties and that the previous admin.

    This potential bill is further proof that politicians of either party aim to wrestle control of communications for their own power. Wiretapping? Who really cares? Seizing my Internet connection based on vague 'emergency' rationale has me very concerned. Enter socialism...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:00PM (#29235375)

    Except that empires are lasting shorter and shorter as we progress. Egyptian, Roman, Holy Roman, British, American. I think you've got about another 10 years left.

  • by Maniacal ( 12626 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:27PM (#29235691)

    This and a bunch of posts above it that basically say the same thing are a big part of the problems we are having today. WE are Americans and, yes, WE fought and died for the right to be free.

    "WE the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    The people who wrote that are as dead as the people who fought and died to make it happen. Nonetheless, they are us and WE are them. When you disconnect from that you lose sight of how important it is to maintain the freedoms afforded to us. The OP hasn't lost sight of that. Neither have I. WE are Americans. WE died for you and continue to do so whenever the situation merits.

    The rest of the OP's post, which you may or may not have read, was concerned with the chipping away of our freedoms. That's what he/she meant by "one more nail in the coffin". You're rights won't be taken in a chunk. They'll be stripped away layer by layer. That way you won't notice.

    And yes, sending packets and net access is one of those freedoms. To think that the only freedoms our consititution allows are for things that existed when it was written is a bit short sighted to say the least. Give the government this right and it will be abused. The Feds already have control over all their networks and systems and they have the ability to pull those plugs any time they feel threatened. No bill or law needed. A bill like this would give them power to unplug you, your company, your group, your town, your state, your country. WE fought and died so that our government could never have that type of control over our lives. If the Feds feel threatened, they don't need a bill, walk over to the router and unplug the fiber, but don't tread on my packets.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brian Knotts ( 855 ) <bknotts.cascadeaccess@com> on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:31PM (#29235729)

    Clinton did the same stuff, FYI. So, you could just say that Obama is continuing Bush's continuation of Clinton's anti-privacy policies.

    Yes, you can argue that it's really Congress that is doing this, but there is a lot of coordination, especially when you are talking about a Congress controlled by the same party.

    And there isn't a single "right wing" or "left wing" view on this. What it boils down to is a statist view, and an anti-statist view.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tres ( 151637 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:45PM (#29235909) Homepage

    Enter socialism...

    What does this have to do with Socialism? Really? The ignorant hyperbole coming from the right wing is unbelievable. I mean, do any of you even know what Socialism is? Or do you just know that it was a term co opted by the ignorant, vile fools who called themselves the National Socialist (NAZI) Party?

    I actually read someone who equated the position of conservatives in America right now to the Jews in Germany while the Nazis came to power. It's un-fucking-believable really. I've been to Auschwitz and seen the sea of empty shoes that belonged to men and women -- to boys and girls who were extinguished. I've seen the well-documented horror of mechanized human extermination. Equating the conservative position within the current political landscape as an analog to the horror of what the Nazis did is not just ignorant, insidious, hateful hyperbole, it degrades the absolute horror of what was done and those it was done to.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:49PM (#29235961) Homepage Journal

    The words of the Supreme Court justices are not sacred, as they can (and certainly do) change their views on things. However, doing so is not something undertaken lightly, especially when it has the opportunity to cause significant upheaval, and the secession of a state falls squarely into that category.

    As to your "facts":

    1. The Constitution altered the form of government. It did not dissolve the union. After the first nine states adopted it, it became the form of government for those nine. The remaining four states could have rejected it and gone off on their own, but eventually did ratify the Constitution, and have always been considered to have been part of the United States during the gap.

    2. The sovereignty of the individual states is limited. They have a certain amount of internal sovereignty, but have no external sovereignty. They may not make treaties, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, or coin money, for example. The limitations are all laid out in Article I, Section 10.

    3. Nothing in the Constitution implies that they may leave. There is an implication that they may not leave in that rules are outlines for admission of a new state, but not for secession of an existing state or part thereof.

  • by QuantumPion ( 805098 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:52PM (#29235987)

    Dems already call people who disagree with the healthcare reform plan terrorists

    False. Shutting down town hall meetings != disagreeing with the healthcare reform plan.

    It's still hyperbole to call them "terrorists", but don't pretend the people Congressman Hill was referring to were merely expressing an opposing viewpoint -- their mission is to stifle debate and intimidate their opponents, just like the folks who've been brandishing guns outside the events.

    I totally agree. Calling Union thugs and ACORN workers, whom are bussed in to local town halls to fill up all the available seats and boo/shout down/intimidate/physically assault local residents whom ask critical questions of their representative, aren't really terrorists. I can't think of a better word for what to call them off the top of my head. Perhaps we can look into recent history to where such behavior has occurred before [].

  • Re:Texas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:00PM (#29236089) Journal

    Q: Can the the province of Gaul secede from the Roman Empire?
    A: No the Roman Senate and Emperor determined they cannot, but they did it anyway circa 460 A.D.

    Q: Can the American colonies secede from the British Empire?
    A: No the British Parliament determined they cannot, but they did it anyway.

    Q: Can members states like the UK secede from the European Union?
    A: The EU probably would say no, but the outcome depends if the UK has a bigger army or not.


    Secession is not a matter of law, but a matter of force. He who has the most force determines the outcome. If the Southern states had been better organized and won, the U.S. Supreme Court could have issued all the verdicts they wanted, but it would not have changed anything. I recall at one point the U.S. Supremes said it was illegal to deport the Indians living in Alabama to Oklahoma, due to existing U.S. treaties, but the sitting president said, "They made their ruling; now let's see them enforce it," and he did it anyway. In cases like this force rules, not men in robes.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:01PM (#29236095)
    You want to know how I know you are full of shit? Because I occasionally get my ass out from behind a computer screen and actually meet and talk to people. It's really not that hard - it just takes a personality and a bit of heart - and they will talk to you. Go to any shit ass business, and there are hundreds of them w/i a couple of square miles of where you stand, and ask people about their health insurance. Or lack of it. And realize what a stupid, self-absorbed blow hole you have been.

    Do you often deliberately lose arguments by undercutting yourself like this? Your paragraph means NOTHING next to actual statistics.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:22PM (#29236307)

    minor nit: They are the same party, they meet inside the White House with Obama, and they coordinate with one another to craft bills. They are as much a part of the administration as the vice-president. Perhaps moreso.

    I believe you've mistaken the Democrats for an organized political party. It's a common mistake, but they are not. An organized political party could pass a heath care bill when they have massive supermajorities in both houses of Congress.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:1, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:23PM (#29236325) Journal

    >>>all the crap from the first 6 years came home to roost...... we'd ALREADY spent our way to 5 TRILLION in Debt unnecessarily

    You make it sound like Bush created that debt by himself.
    When Clinton walked-out the door there was already 3 trillion,
    so let's spread the blame equally between the D's and R's.


    >>>So please take your revisionist history and just shove it, k?

    You first

  • Re:Backwards (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:45PM (#29236619)

    For fuck's sake, people, do we have political principles, or just political teams?

    That's EXACTLY it right there. That's how all the civil liberty trampling bills get passed into law and unnecessary wars become authorized. People need to think for themselves and stop limiting themselves to just what the pundits and politicians of your party tell you to think and know. It's not just the other party making America worse, it's both the Democrats and Republicans.

  • Re:Where Were You? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sbeckstead ( 555647 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:07PM (#29236905) Homepage Journal
    why hasn't Obama received the kind of criticism Bush did?
    I assume this was mostly rhetorical

    Because Obama hasn't actually done the same things that Bush did, and has tried to reverse most of the damage. Getting out of Iraq was really started before he took office and he saw no real reason to accelerate it more than was safe. Yeah you may be right about Afghanistan but time will tell. and you are actually right he is receiving criticism at an accelerating pace.
  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:07PM (#29236915) Homepage Journal

    The last 2 years were DEM controlled sure, just as all the crap from the first 6 years came home to roost. Not exactly the fault of the DEM's that when the economy tanked, we'd ALREADY spent our way to 5 TRILLION in Debt unnecessarily. That made the NECESSARY spending for economic reasons tougher to deal with. Bush's last budget was 700 Billion deficit.

    Wow, my head just exploded.

    So let me follow your logic:
    1) Bush's 700B deficit (which was manly due to spendulus)... was bad?
    2) Obama's spending, which has doubled or tripled over Bush's record (also due to spendulus)... is good?

    They both spent up a ton of money for the same reason, and both publicly expressed regret about doing so (who you choose to believe, of course, is left as an exercise for the reader).

    A fair bit of the blame is due to the dems, especially Barney Frank. ("These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.) And the bill died in congress.

    Educate yourself: []

  • Re:Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @07:00PM (#29237525) Journal

    No, the "administration" is the sea of embedded bureaucrats who have held their position for 40 years or more.

  • by Atario ( 673917 ) on Friday August 28, 2009 @09:10PM (#29238565) Homepage

    If they didn't have to worry about getting reelected, what incentive would they have to do what their constituents want?

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Friday August 28, 2009 @11:42PM (#29239441) Homepage Journal

    Worse, a lot of critical infrastructure is in the hands of private for-profit FOREIGN corporations.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:02AM (#29239579)

    I'm one of those that have been bankrupted by medical bills and can't get insurance because of a pre-existing condition now. There are alot more than 8 million of us - Stop lying, why do you want private insurance to profit over peoples lives?

  • by darkpixel2k ( 623900 ) <> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @12:19AM (#29239685) Homepage

    The U.S. government is very, very corrupt. Someone plans to use emergency powers to make money, probably.

    How the hell did that get rated troll?

    If you're a Democrat moderator, think about Evil Bush and Evil Chaney and their ability to listen in on phone calls or start wars for Haliburton.

    If you're a Republican moderator, think about Axelrod and having the White House give his advertising company money to make the healthcare commercials / propaganda--some of which ended up back in Axelrod's pockets.

    If you're a Libertarian moderator, is it really wise to be moderating Slashdot while trying to sight in your scope?

  • Re:Hands off! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:45AM (#29240089)

    There isn't. Because if it's important enough for you to need to reach it, only an idiot would think "gosh, let's make our <important whatever> only accessible via the internet, because the internet never goes down."

    If it's important then internet connectivity shouldn't be part of your critical path. Any other approach is flat out incompetent.

    At any given time about 10% of the internet is unreachable by the other 90%.

  • Re:Hands off! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ezzzD55J ( 697465 ) <> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @07:14AM (#29241435) Homepage

    I'll let you and GP talk to each other. You:

    Look at the bill. A cyber security emergency is when a piece of critical infrastructure gets owned. In times like that, you need to drop that shit off the network ASAP, and figure out what happened.


    then I have to wonder who put such a critical systems on an unsecured, unreliable network

  • Re:Hands off! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bwcbwc ( 601780 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @11:52AM (#29243511)

    Parent==Flamebait??? Puhleez. Just because someone professes a non liberal-libertarian viewpoint doesn't mean they don't have a point worth hearing.

    #1) How is this a "privacy" issue. I can see it as an information access and possibly a censorship issue (although I doubt it's intended for that purpose), but privacy isn't really on the table here. In fact, disconnecting computers from the internet will probably IMPROVE the security of your private information.

    #2) How is this different from the government closing off roads into disaster areas like wildfires and hurricanes, not to mention the police line at crime scenes? There's a legitimate safety and security issue involved in letting the general public into systems infected with malware or that need to be analyzed as part of a criminal investigation.

    As far as I can tell this is just an extension of existing real-world government authority into the cyber arena. Any government authority is vulnerable to abuse, but there's also a legitimate need for this type of authority when there actually IS an emergency.

    Get a grip, people. Feed the watchdogs at EFF and ACLU with money to prevent the potential abuse, but don't deny the government a legitimate role in cyber-security.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tres ( 151637 ) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:27PM (#29244477) Homepage

    Adolf Hitler was actually a decent guy when he was elected...

    I'm sorry? You mean the Hitler who wrote this long before he was elected:

    • The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.

    or this

    • Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light - a kike!

    or this:

    • The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

    Hitler was always a repugnant little man thrust into a position he should never have held because of reparations for World War I.

    It would be very interesting to hear if you could find an analog to these quotes in any of Obama's books or writings.

  • by sonicmerlin ( 1505111 ) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @07:41AM (#29250595)
    Democrats don't lie to people, then send them in buses to town hall meetings to shout down the speakers while screaming irrationally. They don't sponsor commercials and meetings that specifically lie about the health care bill and spread fear. They don't send e-mails out talking about "death panels" just to scare people. They don't send talking points to a "News" organization, something that is technically illegal. Have you even SEEN the Republican party's speeches on government healthcare in Congressional meetings? At one point one Congressman was using giant poster boards with children's book pictures of a "knight" swinging a sword at a chicken egg. He called him sir Lancelot, then put up another board that labeled the knight Sir Taxalot. It was so incoherent and stupid and did nothing to actually address the issues at hand.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"