Saturday, August 29, 2009
Obama seeks Power to Rule the Internet
Earlier this month, Fox news reported that anyone who went to the USG's Cash for clunkers website was inadvertently granting the US Government all rights to access your computer for any reason, now and in the future.
Today Cnet reports that a recently revised Senate Bill S.773 would grant the president sweeping powers in the event of a 'cyber emergency.' Going far beyond protecting utilities and other government type services this bill could give the President control of private I.T. companies hiring practices, require hiring of specially certified government approved 'supervisors' (can you say, "Political Officer" tovarisch?) and force private I.T. companies to take orders from the government to do whatever the President deems necessary to combat the 'cyber-emergency.'
This of course reminds me of how Adolf Hitler and other dictators in history have used real (and staged) emergencies to grant themselves extraordinary powers that were ultimately abused to circumvent their nation's checks and balances, and ultimately cement their position and power.
The U.S. has had strong presidents who were given extraordinary powers during times of crisis. I'm think of Abraham Lincoln, and more recently George W Bush. Yes, W. As disappointing as George was in the latter part of his administration I still include him with Lincoln, as men with sufficient integrity and character to give up those powers when the crisis ended.
Sadly, I fear Obama has not shown yet that he has the integrity and character to match those examples.
(thanks to www.daybydaycartoon.com for the opening image)