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U.S.: Obama Signs Executive Order Outlining Internet Control In Emergencies

     
4:40 pm on Jul 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Eh! Where does that leave the rest of us?

U.S.: Obama Signs Executive Order Outlining Internet Control In Emergencies [news.cnet.com]
President Barack Obama signed an executive order last week that could give the U.S. government control over the Internet.

With the wordy title "Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions," this order was designed to empower certain governmental agencies with control over telecommunications and the Web during natural disasters and security emergencies.
The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient, enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience.

5:45 pm on July 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Good question engine. This just smells real wrong and I am sure we haven't heard the last of it. I would begin to think it is probably in a country best intrest to have their own country network. Like one big office.
7:16 pm on July 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually seems to be the logical next step to the Emergency Alert System (EAS), as long as it is used properly.

Marshall
8:02 pm on July 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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well, well. looks like everyone's gearing for a bit of an infowar.

Technically Executive Orders are not laws, they are orders from President to his executive branch. which means NSA/DOD et. al. have yet to implement this one.


Nobody wants to depend on US for their internet anymore, in case some chief decides it is theirs: map of internet root servers [root-servers.org]
12:25 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It sounds reasonable but so far I haven't found his administrations actions on civil liberties to be very comforting.
1:02 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nobody wants to depend on US for their internet


And why should they?

Anyway, I have always wondered when management will be handed over for the internal affairs of each country. It will solve lots of problems for everyone.
1:53 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Brought to you by the government that can't resolve a domain name without a "www." prefix.

If they can't manage something as simple as domain names in a non-crisis situation what makes anyone think that they could manage to control the entire internet in an emergency?

We'll all be sitting in the dark playing solitaire by candlelight.
2:40 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It is politics, kiddies, and we don't want to go there. An example of overreach... and though things move slowly, this is the chip what gets it started. Grab panties, it will start to be a bumpy ride. I will now go away. Just remember, I didn't cry "wolf" I cried "politics!".
2:59 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Did it make it so that Government will provide more information or will they use it to limit information in an emergency, that's the question. Are we better off with Twitter shut down as needed, really? This won't help to alleviate the distrust some people have in government, imo.

Section 5.2 states that the Secretary of Homeland Security will "oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment" of national security and emergency preparedness measures on all systems, including private "non-military communications networks." According to The Verge, critics say this gives Obama the on/off switch to the Web.


Also, just how far out of the U.S. borders does this order reach since they recently laid claim to some ICANN powers? Does that on/off switch imply Global ?
4:42 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm wondering how much this has to do with the flash mobbings that have fueled a lot of Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Everybody Twitters everybody else, and they swarm on a place in such numbers they can't be controlled. As much as I support the right to demonstrate, mobs can get extremely dangerous and end up doing things they regret. The ability to shut Twitter down temporarily could be a good thing in the right circumstances.

Sadly, the US's track record on applying the right policies in the right circumstances leaves me pretty concerned. And even if the current administration's heart is in the right place, this law will remain in place for future presidents, and who knows what they'll be like.
5:14 am on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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US Gov't already has lots of control over their citizens in ways that completely embarrass the constitution.

Why not seal the deal :)
3:33 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm wondering how much this has to do with the flash mobbings that have fueled a lot of Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Everybody Twitters everybody else, and they swarm on a place in such numbers they can't be controlled.


Bingo! I'm not going to get into the politics of this, but this is meant to prevent such movements from being able to organize in mass. Thus preserving Gov't control and power.

US Gov't already has lots of control over their citizens in ways that completely embarrass the constitution.

Why not seal the deal :)


Exactly what this is meant to do, seal the deal.
4:46 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bingo! I'm not going to get into the politics of this, but this is meant to prevent such movements from being able to organize in mass. Thus preserving Gov't control and power.


But in the constitution don't we as citizens have that right?

1st Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to assembly and freedom of assembly
6:57 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The civil rights issues aside for now, I seriously doubt that the government has either the expertise or manpower to do this effectively. Not to mention the fact that the instant it was implemented the courts would be flooded with lawsuits.

China has attempted to "control" the internet for years, with a notable lack of success.
7:47 pm on July 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But in the constitution don't we as citizens have that right?

1st Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to assembly and freedom of assembly


Yes, supposedly. I could cite some examples where that one went out the window: OWS, Civil Rights Movement, Kent State, etc... Seems these days the constitution is only supported when it suites 'their' purposes and not the peoples rights. However, that's politics and this is a webmasters forum.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Let's hope it's actually used for the stated purpose. I'm sure there will be ways around this if needed.
10:58 am on July 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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peaceably to assemble

But by definition any assembly promoted over social media will be regarded as NOT being "peaceable".
1:58 pm on July 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@piatkow1 I think "regard" is a very subjective term. For every enforcement, there is a person doing the enforcing, for the government is not an amorphous blob. It is formed of government workers, real folks similar to the rest of us. (Folks like that lowly-paid surly clerk at the MVD desk who makes you stand in line with forms filled out in triplicate. And guess what? She goes home and watches Dancing With the Stars while eating boiled frozen peas and microwaved Salisbury Steak with a couple kids, too.) If a "peaceable assembly" were to be promoted properly over social media, it need not be regarded as NOT peaceable.
8:30 pm on July 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@albo
I rather suspect that you are in the "nothing to hide = nothing to fear" camp.
11:11 am on July 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Brought to you by the government that can't resolve a domain name without a "www." prefix.

If they can't manage something as simple as domain names in a non-crisis situation what makes anyone think that they could manage to control the entire internet in an emergency?


Exactly! The same government who couldn't figure out a simple DNS redirect with the DNS changer botnet/virus, and their "solution" was to pull the DNS plug on these infected systems.