Thursday, April 9, 2009

Congress may give Obama power to shut down the Internet, ignore privacy laws

By Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor Washington Examiner. 4/8/09 11:02 PM

Civil libertarians were aghast when news leaked in 2002 of a Pentagon research program designed to give national security officials advance warning of terrorists attacks by analyzing trillions of bytes of computer data in search of tell-tale activities in everyday life. [full article]


The Defence Department's scary sounding Total Information Awareness (TIA) program proposed under President Bush in 2002, following the terrorist attack of 9/11, would have mined internet data to look for patterns that would alert the goverment to possible terrorist threats. The public's alarm over the civil liberties implications of such a program led Congress to kill it in 2002. Now it is back and renamed the Cyber-security Act of 2009.

Civil libertarian who were alarmed and outraged about this program when it was proposed while George W Bush was president are as quiet as a church mouse now that the same program is being proposed but Barack Obama is President. To be fair, I am also hearing a lot more concern about this program from those on the right than I did when the same program was proposed by the Bush administration.

This program is scary no matter who is President. Do you really believe that if government has the authority to monitor and mine Internet traffic for patterns that indicate links to terrorist activity, that they will not use it for other purposes? The temptation to track down pedophiles, drug dealers, counterfeiters and tax cheats will be too great to resist. Then who is going to say that it is inappropriate to use it to monitor "hate groups" or "domestic terrorist." Handing over this kind of power to the government is scary indeed. The government should not be able to read my email, or open my U. S. mail, tap my phone, or search my house without a court order and it doesn't matter if the President is named Bush or Obama.

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  1. You got that right "The government should not be able to read my email, or open my U. S. mail, tap my phone, or search my house without a court order"

  2. We will see what the response is of those on the Left regarding this; Are the lefties going to dismiss or ignore this because their man is in the WH?