Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama's Internet Grab

[Guest posted by Annie Lee Mann]

Obama Adminstration Seeks Control of the Internet

The Obama administration is engaged in an effort to take control over internet and citizens’ freedom of speech and press under the guise of providing internet infrastructure security. If you don’t believe me, check it out: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/cybersecurity-act This link provides analysis, full text of bill and a PDF summary of key provisions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is independent and a reliable source. I don’t think anyone could accuse them of being part of a right-wing conspiracy (I don’t think a lyricist for the Grateful Dead is a card-carrying member of the Klan or the NRA.).

It got too much attention as a single bill and has since be dissipated into 14 (!) other bills, but you should know about it. It wouldn’t cost as much as a government takeover of health care, but it might be even more frightening. This bill provides for outrageous and unprecedented power to be given to President to invade citizen privacy and even to shut down the internet. They seek to control – not just regulate – all electronic means of communication, both commercial and private.

Am I overreacting? Reading dire possibility into an honest effort to prevent cyberterrorism?

I don’t think so!

Okay, President Orwell, Mr. “judge me by the people with whom I surround myself.” For an extended version of the web surrounding our president, go to http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/default.asp .

For now, let’s just look at his Czar for Diversity at the FCC, Mark Lloyd. The following are excerpts from his book “Prologue to a Farce,” subtitled “Communication and Democracy in America.” http://books.google.com/books?id=SbmxyHXadQ4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI#v=onepage&q=&f=false .

I can’t get free access to all the book, (and certainly don’t want to buy it!) but just in the first few pages Lloyd makes clear his passionate belief that the government should control all media because “Corporate America” doesn’t serve to inform our citizenry. Don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself:

“The ongoing American experiment in democracy is failing. And it is failing because we have allowed our public sphere to be dominated by the interest Madison called merchants.” (page 11) “The most powerful communications tool was deliberately placed in the hands of one faction in our republic: commercial industry. This faction has had many names over the course of our history. Madison called them the mercantile faction. . . today we call them Corporate America.” (p. 16, lamenting the slippery slope public communication went down when the decision was made not to have government-controlled telegraph)

[I can’t resist a sidebar. Everyone has seen http://www.storyofstuff.com/ , right? The cute little cartoon movie about the evils of capitalism that is being shown to schoolchildren nationwide? (complete with tests administered by teachers at the end to insure the Obama Youth get it?]

“The ideals of political equality and a government that operates in response to the informed consent of the governed are for most Americans only romantic notions. Our republic, the unique American mechanism for realizing the will of the people, is something warm and fuzzy to salute or sing about at best. At worst it is viewed as a dysfunctional and unreliable interference. But, in the main, it is regarded as merely another service provider, an odd cousin to the market.” (p.11) . [No, never mind singing the national anthem. Much better we should sing the praises of our f├╝hrer . http://newsrealblog.com/2009/09/28/mm-mmm-mm-barack-hussein-obama/ ]

“The real questions is: What is the governing structure that will allow us to address the serious public injustices in our present?” (P.13)

“I will counter…[Thomas Jefferson’s outdated canard that that government is best which governs least, p.14] that … Americans clearly want many things that only government can provide: a clean environment, affordable health care, safe streets and so on. The answer to the problems of achieving our ideals of political equality and democratic deliberation is not to be found in limiting the only mechanism that can help us improve our society. “ (p. 15, emphasis added)

“We should never have allowed one faction to dominate our public sphere. Corporate liberty has overwhelmed citizen equality.” (p. 17)

“Indeed, as communications technologies become even more important to democratic participation, the government’s inherent responsibility to protect and advance democratic engagement is increased.” (p. 20) [all well and good unless you’ve read the provisions of the Cyber Security Act of 2009!!)

“[under the chapter sub-heading] The Altar of the First Amendment” p. 20

This book does not ignore the First Amendment. The First Amendment deserves our attention. . . I only seek to place it in a context with other communications policies.”

Not vital link, but interesting if you have time, because it leads to so much more: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/weekend-opinionator-acorn-falls-the-web-rises/ I missed the Daily Show, so was glad to see the clip!

The internet is key to bringing down totalitarians around the world, which is why they seek to ban or control it in China, and now in the U.S.A.

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