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Egypt Shuts Down Internet – New Bill Gives Obama the Same Power

An Associated Press article reported that Egyptian internet has gone dark.

Internet service in Egypt was disrupted and the government deployed an elite special operations force in Cairo on Friday, hours before an anticipated new wave of anti-government protests..

Apparently social web sites were used to organize the protests and the government needed to prevent that from continuing.  President Hosni Mubarak can do what he likes in his own country, but that could never happen in the United States .. or could it?  A bill introduced last year by Senators Lieberman and Collins, the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010″,  gives Obama the ability to shut down the internet and the courts can do nothing about it.  A revision to the bill was presented in the lame duck session last year.  From CNET News:

The revised version includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems “shall not be subject to judicial review.”

If the President shuts down a portion of the internet, even the courts can’t stop it, which means no one can.  Checks and balances were built into the Constitution to prevent dictatorial actions by a single branch. This is by far, the furthest overreach by Congress in the last two years and Egypt is proving that all the doom-and-gloomers are not that crazy. While it may or may not be Obama that executes this power, some President might. It doesn’t matter whether I favor the President’s views or not, shutting down the internet without having the decision undergo judicial revue is, at best, tyrannical in nature.

Many progressives have tried to point out that the bill only allows the President to shut down portions of the internet critical to national security.  However, as the CNET article continues,  the latest revision added this as a definition of a portion of the internet that is controllable by the executive branch:

Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include “provider of information technology,”

For those less tech-savvy, that definition definitely fits internet service providers, perhaps fits wireless internet providers and wireless telephony providers and could be extended to Google, Yahoo you name it.

This bill is quit simply, un-American.  It is certainly unconstitutional.  How can I be certain?  If it was aligned to the Constitution, it wouldn’t need a clause to keep it from being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The full text of the bill is available here

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  1. Daniel says:

    In the Managers Amendment section of this bill I found this: Your info is 100% correct Rich, good job. If they say you are shut down for any reason, you get no chance to fight it in court. That is Dictatorial power of Tyrants and contrary to American law, plain and simple.

    ‘‘(2) FINAL DECISION.—A decision to identify
    9 any system or asset as covered critical infrastructure
    10 based on a request submitted under this sub11
    section—
    12 ‘‘(A) is committed to the sole, unreviewable
    13 discretion of the Secretary; and
    14 ‘‘(B) shall not be subject to—
    15 ‘‘(i) an appeal under subsection (c); or
    16 ‘‘(ii) judicial review.’’.
    17 SEC.

    From page 212 section 8. Accessed on 1/28/2011
    S3480 Amending the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

  2. Daniel says:

    Pulled right from this bill, another illegality added by ignorant liberals:

    IV) statistics on diversity, in24
    cluding age, disability, race, gender,
    25 and national origin, of individuals
    183
    HEN10553 S.L.C.
    1 hired under the authority of this sec2
    tion to the extent such statistics are
    3 available;

    Silly me, I thought US Law prohibited groups, or the government, from hiring based on race, age, sex etc. Not anymore it shows here. Social Justice 101, make sure you hire minorities, whether they are qualified or not. This is also how our government becomes so incompetent that it takes 8 people to do the same job one person did 15 years ago.(Dept of labor stats, 2009.) This is also what is happening at Walmart, where an “intelligent, qualified” cashier who was hired based on her race didnt believe me when I told her a 12-pack of Coke didnt cost $347.00, like she was asking me to pay. I had to get a manager to change the price to $3.47. When I asked that genius if she thought I was going to pay that price, she states that if the machine says so, then that is what it costs. This is the direct result of the lovely “Diversity” we get from liberal ignorants being in power.

  3. Daniel says:

    The section of the bill that Rich states here is posted right in the thrid block quote section, which came right out of the posted amnendment which was aded to the Homelans Security Act, of which the complete leglislation link is provided at the end of the article.

    How in the hell they can get away with that trick is beyond my scope and understanding also. “Shall not be subject to judicial review” Just who in the hell do these Tyrants think they are today?

    I also saw the riots in Egypt yesterday about shutting down the internet there, and a good discussion of how Obama and Hillary, through both of their rabble-rousing speeches recently aimed at Egypt, are directly partly responsible for these riots. Yet Obama says we have to stay out of other countries business when it comes to Iran and nukes. Pathetic hypocrites. This is all further ex-lained in Obama’s favorite community organizing manual, “Rules for Radicals.” Look that one up.
    Create a crisis, then use that same crisis to take away the voices and freedoms of those who oppose your tyranny and oppression of the people.

  4. Marco says:

    I don’t see your claim in the Bill, can you point out please? Great article btw