Hey, remember when the Patriot Act threatened to look at your library books? that was the real outrage, right?

But when Obama wants to control the internet (but only in case of emergency), we shouldn’t worry about that, right? 

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

Seriously, though, we’ve seen how important free and open communication can be during a crisis- think the recent Iranian elections, where the gov’t specifically requested that Twitter keep operating.  Think post 9/11, when the cell phones all got jammed.  Yeah, we survived for 200+ years without the net, but that doesn’t mean that the gov’t can take it away as they please.

Update: The Other McCain suggests a rider:

Immediately after restoration of service, there is a national referendum on whether or not the President finishes out the term office in Fort Leavenworth.


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