Is the Internet a 'virus' to the status quo?

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A bill currently in Congress -- the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act -- possibly will give the president the authority of shutdown portions of the Internet without congressional approval for four months. Why is this possible when free speech is a basic constitutional right?

Could it be that the emergence of the Internet has allowed for so much truth be told about what actually is going on behind closed doors? The Internet is a vast treasure trove of information, of which half is basically beyond belief, whereas the remaining half gives some credence to possible wrongdoings, and plants seeds of mistrust of government and world leaders.

Many people forget the intent of the Internet was for military applications, whereas the emergence of the public portion of the Internet is now being realized as possible interference to the closed-door activities of our elected leaders and they, who are now suspect, feel that the American public should not be allowed to research the interactions of those elected to lead.

How will America react to the sudden shutdown of the Internet, and what emergency would require this? Wanting to know the truth can complicate the plan of those who suppress the right to know, and allows more questions to be asked.

The Internet quickly is replacing newspapers, and the control of information being relayed on sites like the Drudge Report and other Internet outlets leads one to conclude that the Internet has become a "virus" to the status quo!

Bo Slendak

Augusta

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DanK
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DanK 07/14/10 - 12:51 am
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The basic networking designs

The basic networking designs that became the internet came out of military research on building fault-tolerant systems. However, the Internet grew out of applications of that research and other innovations by the National Science Foundation in collaboration with other scientific research organizations in other countries. This large network was never intended for military use. It was developed for sharing research information, which was then expanded to include more and more universities. The public Internet as we know it today, grew out of that research network.

The current discussion regarding presidential power to shut down the internet is specifically aimed at creating a last resort for protecting crucial American commercial and governmental systems in the event of cyber-attack. It is controversial for three reasons. First, because it's not like you can just inplug a computer or flip a switch and the Internet is turned off. Most Internet experts are doubtful that anyone could shut down the Internet, at least not for long. The whole point of Internet design is that it is fault-tolerant. Information is automatically re-routed to bypass parts of the system that fail (or get turned off). Second, there is dispute as to what a "cyber-attack" actually is and whether such a thing is even possible. Yes, individual servers on the Internet can be targeted. But there are millions of servers on the Internet. Any attack could only affect a small number of them. And finally, the Internet is the most powerful means for disseminating information in time of emergency. There is no more powerful means for a populace to quickly communicate with multitudes of others than the Internet.

For those reasons, it is a poorly conceived idea as it stands right now. But in this age of fear, the magic word "security" pretty much assures passage of anything. Whether the Internet is a "virus" -- I'm not sure what that means, so I'll leave that to others to figure out.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 07/14/10 - 06:34 am
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This is proof that the 9 most
Unpublished

This is proof that the 9 most dreaded words in the English language are, "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

getalife
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getalife 07/14/10 - 07:05 am
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What would be a reason for

What would be a reason for Obama to shutdown the Internet? Is this part of a bigger plan to cut the public off from news??

gobsmacked
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gobsmacked 07/14/10 - 07:15 am
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And where would we be without

And where would we be without the internet? Why I wouldn't have learned that Eisenhower chased out 13 million illegals, Obama was banning fishing, that someone named after the Paris airport had found Obama's Kenyan birth certificate, that beheaded bodies were found in the Arizonan desert, and that Dick Cheney doesn't case a shadow.

dani
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dani 07/14/10 - 08:11 am
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So much to learn, so little

So much to learn, so little time to absorb it.

Chillen
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Chillen 07/14/10 - 08:11 am
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"Could it be that the

"Could it be that the emergence of the Internet has allowed for so much truth be told about what actually is going on behind closed doors?"

YES. And the socialists don't like it. It has helped expose them for what they really are.

This is a really, really bad idea. For everyone. Obama may love the power now but when his party isn't in charge anymore it could be him & his socialist pals that get shut down.

Retard
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Retard 07/14/10 - 08:28 am
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Horrible idea. Especially

Horrible idea. Especially considering their lack of transparency and lack of skill in writing meaningful and beneficial legislation.

burninater
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burninater 07/14/10 - 09:20 am
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U.S. experts claim the

U.S. experts claim the Chinese have already intruded on the U.S. electrical transmission system, although the Chinese deny it. Disruption of the electronic systems that run our power grid delivery system can have strong physical effects -- you can actually produce physical explosions in gaslines and transformers remotely, through hacking. U.S. industry and defense networks are the target of thousands of malicious phishing attacks everyday, where foreign hackers test security systems for entry points.

Also according to U.S. experts, cyberwarfare has already occurred. The Israeli attack on Syria's secret nuclear reactor in 2007 was preceded by a cyberattack on the Syrian defense network. Israeli jets entered Syrian airspace and nothing showed on Syrian radar, because their systems had been hacked by Israel in coordination with their airstrike. The U.S. has made public at least one such attack on Iraqi insurgents, also in 2007, in which they hacked their communications in order to plant false information.

http://defensetech.org/2009/11/16/iraq-cyber-attack-and-the-digiseals/

Further, imagine the effects of hackers who were able to enter financial systems and disrupt records of who owned what. The systemic chaos would be nightmarish.

If you think the primary threat here is to so-called socialists worried that the power of social networking is going to expose them, you are suffering from serious political tunnel vision. Do a little research online on cyber warfare, or get the excellent book Cyber War by Richard Clarke.

This is a real and serious threat, and any agency or network that tries to spin this as an Obama censorship scheme may as well be providing material support to foreign hostile entities.

ohhsweetconcord
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ohhsweetconcord 07/14/10 - 09:50 am
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Isn't this a defense

Isn't this a defense application? Isn't it supported by the US military? Wouldn't closing down sites like the Drudge report...be...um...illegal? There is no evidence that ANYONE in the administration wants to "shut down" political websites for speech purposes. Zero.

dashiel
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dashiel 07/14/10 - 10:39 am
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The most effective way the

The most effective way the government could control the Internet would be to tax its use--and they probably will as soon as some half-baked privatizing patriot stumbles over the idea. No doubt that great American will be one who believes gubment ought to be run like a bidness (even though he can't park cars at a barbecue and probably flunked Civics back when they taught it in school).

Retard
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Retard 07/14/10 - 10:51 am
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I know the threat exists. I

I know the threat exists. I deal with this kind of thing everyday in my profession. However, the problem lies in governments ability to do something right which, given their track record, is not much ability. First of all, it should be by congressional approval only unless we are under a real attack (as in physical) or there is possibility of death and second, there are methods of network isolation that serve as a fine substitute for simply "shutting down" the Internet. Granted, I don't know the exact words of the proposed law at the moment but if those are the words, then it's typical gov stupidity.

ohhsweetconcord
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ohhsweetconcord 07/14/10 - 11:13 am
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Well, the law states "Subject

Well, the law states "Subject to paragraph (2), 3 the owner or operator of covered CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed by the Director..." Those are the exact words. Critical infrastructure is an important distinction in that...well, this website wouldn't be considered "critical" to national security.

Retard
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Retard 07/14/10 - 12:11 pm
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Well I skimmed the bill on

Well I skimmed the bill on opencongress.org. There seems to be no issues with shutting down the Internet. My points still stand though: why government thinks it knows better than the private industry is beyond me. The action plan should be developed collaboratively by the private sector and not a federal agency.

chipshirley
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chipshirley 07/14/10 - 01:12 pm
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SG-This is proof that the 9

SG-This is proof that the 9 most dreaded words in the English language are, "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

We are the government. There is no USA without the government, Neil Boortz and Limbaugh and Hannity are stinking lying cowards who never served their country in any way shape or form and you have been lied to by the hateful monsters.

Do you even know that Limbaugh has said for ten years that he is 'proven the most accurate broadcaster by an audit from the Sullivan Group" AND THEY ARE NOT AN AUDITING FIRM OF ANY KIND they are a real estate and investment company...I HAVE CALLED THEM...even they say 'he's joking'!

And I'll tell you cons' another thing....all of those bloodthirsty liars on the radio are trying to sell you that Obama wants to crash the economy because he hates the US, but they are the ones constantly telling everyone to not buy anything and to get their money out of US dollars and to invest in other countries (which are all more socialist than us).

It's a disgusting nightmare the evil tripe being rammed down good conservative people's ears.

chascush
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chascush 07/14/10 - 01:47 pm
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Shirley, ‘all of those

Shirley, ‘all of those bloodthirsty liars on the radio are trying to sell you that Obama wants to crash the economy because he hates the US’
I believe you have OD on Hussein kool-aid. Hussein only hates the fact that the US is run by white people mostly white men. Read his books and you will find that he agrees with the Rev. Wright his pastor and mentor for 20 yeas. NO, NO not God bless but GD America.
Hussein would rather destroy the US than let it continue to be run by white men.

chascush
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chascush 07/14/10 - 01:47 pm
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Shirley, ‘It's a disgusting

Shirley, ‘It's a disgusting nightmare the evil tripe being rammed down good conservative people's ears.’
By the way Shirley, what has been rammed down the throats of the poor blacks for years in the black churches and by the black leaders? You’re right; it’s a disgusting nightmare the evil tripe that has been rammed down poor black’s throats for years.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 02:29 pm
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Hannity never served, Boortz

Hannity never served, Boortz never served.....TRAVESTY! Obama never served......that's ok. Gotta love the hypocrisy of the left.

What are the lies that Hannity and Boortz told? Got any evidence of lying, chip, or are YOU lying?

gobsmacked
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gobsmacked 07/14/10 - 02:47 pm
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Hannity lie: under the cash

Hannity lie: under the cash for clunkers program, you could go to a junkyard, buy a junk auto and get $4500 for it. absolutely false.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 02:49 pm
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Obama lie: I will close GITMO

Obama lie: I will close GITMO within one year. Absolutely false. I guess you have the same problems with him, or is your venom only aimed at talkshow hosts who don't have the responsibility to lead the nation?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 02:51 pm
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Has it occurred to you that

Has it occurred to you that Hannity was just wrong, and not lying? It's possible.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 03:07 pm
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Obama claims he wrote letter

Obama claims he wrote letter to US Treasurer to try to prevent the housing crisis; but he acted only AFTER he had caused it by blocking McCain's bill

Obama claims he is bipartisan ; Congressional Quarterly shows he voted with his party 97% of the time

Obama lied about being asked to wear dead soldier's bracelet: family had asked Obama to stop wearing it

Pushing his Green agenda Obama claimed Japanese Car average 45 mpg fuel efficiency; its actually around 29 mph

Obama disparaged the efficiency of our healthcare system saying the U.S. spends twice per capita than other countries: WaPo proves he's lying

Obama claims President Clinton's Labor Secretary said BHO's healthcare plan, "Does more than anybody to reduce costs"; Robert Reich did NOT say it

In the Primaries Obama puffed his resume claiming he was a "Professor"; State Senate bio shows he was not ; he now agrees

Obama claims abortion rates have not gone down under the Bush Administration; stats show they have gone down

I guess all these lies are ok?

ohhsweetconcord
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ohhsweetconcord 07/14/10 - 03:19 pm
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Retard, generally private

Retard, generally private enterprise does do a better job. But these companies don't have that much of a profit incentive to establish an national network of defense. You need the government to help along. I haven't read the bill entirely either, but I would hope the government is working with the companies? Is that not the case?

chipshirley
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chipshirley 07/14/10 - 03:27 pm
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Obama is serving his country

Obama is serving his country and has been since he became a community activist, a state legislator, a US Senator and now President of the United States all jobs which pay a fraction of what he was offered to be a corporate lawyer.

HAAAAH!

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 03:28 pm
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But his lies are OK with you

But his lies are OK with you Chip?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 03:29 pm
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Voting "present" for 2 years

Voting "present" for 2 years as a senator is a heck of a service to the country! Spending more money than anyone in history is a heck of a service.

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/14/10 - 03:37 pm
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They pay a fraction of what

They pay a fraction of what he was offered to be a lawyer? Do you think as a lawyer, he could have afforded to have Paul McCartney come play at his party? Why worry about salary when you can just dip into the pockets of the taxpayers. How noble of him! Good lord...I can't believe you even brought THAT one up!

dichotomy
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dichotomy 07/14/10 - 03:42 pm
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Almost all critical systems

Almost all critical systems could be isolated from the internet or shut down individually to protect from an active threat. Most critical systems have a separate point to point, secured, or incrypted communications line. There should never be a legitimate reason to shut down the civilian internet and the only real reason to do so would be to prevent the population from sending or receiving information. Any attempt to shut down the civilian internet should be met with violent opposition. The internet has become the primary dispenser of news, opinion, and discourse and to shut it down would be a direct assault on our 1st Amendment in a Hugo Chavez style attempt to control critics.

Retard
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Retard 07/14/10 - 03:44 pm
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Concord: I agree when it

Concord: I agree when it comes to national defense, the gov needs to be involved. That is, after all, the job of the gov. The bill says that the requirements will derive from various agencies, NIST, and other similar groups. I'm unsure if it was a requirement or if it was simply stating what should/could happen.

DanK
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DanK 07/14/10 - 06:30 pm
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Well, for all of you Obama

Well, for all of you Obama haters -- this was first proposed back during the Bush administration, and the Democrats stalled it. This is actually coming out of the conservative ranks -- following on the same kind of fear-mongering that has led to the federal lefislation that allows the government to listen to your phone calls, read your email, probe your bank records and other personal data, examine your online search records, etc. All justified as "national security" by the right. Protecting us from ourselves, I guess.

gobsmacked
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gobsmacked 07/14/10 - 07:28 pm
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Not that it will convince

Not that it will convince anyone, but the University of Chicago released a statement to the effect that Obama's title was Senior Lecturer and that the University considered him a law professor. He was offered a full-time position and the official title several times and declined. Senior Lecturers have other things to do that don't allow for a full-commitment to teaching and research. Other senior lecturers include Richard Posner, eminent jurist and author. You may have heard of him. He's the one who described the constitution as a charter of negative liberties, a description often quoted and nearly as frequently misunderstood.

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