Lieberman Backpedals on Internet Kill Switch. Kinda. NOT!

Two ago weeks Senator Joe “Turncoat” Lieberman, along with Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware proposed the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, an internet kill switch which any POTUS, any time could flick to shut off the Intertoobs. And keep them shut off indefinitely. Much outrage and uproar ensued.

Sunday on CNN Loserman tried to explain that what he had in mind was not a total “All Your Base Are Belong to Us” move, but rather a partial Internet shut down. And why? Because other countries already have that in place and we have to keep up with the Hu Jintaos?

Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too.

Wait, wut? Haven’t we been busy decrying actions like that as being all mean and stuff, and talking about how awful it that China can’t have Google or goatse, like real a democracy? And how it sucked that Pakistan shut down Facebook and Google on “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day”?

Lieberman goes on to explain that people are just over reacting and that the bill not censorship. Oh rilly? Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset would force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures and allow the President to disconnect Internet networks. The president’s power to shut down parts of the Web could be renewed indefinitely under the bill.

But it’s not a big deal, says Lieberman:

We need this capacity in a time of war. We need the capacity for the president to say, ‘Internet service provider, we’ve got to disconnect the American Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country, or we have to put a patch on this part of it’.

So I say to my friends on the Internet, relax. Take a look at the bill. And this is something that we need to protect our country.

Lieberman seems like he’s trying to sell this piece of legislation as (thought process/spin):

Oh noes, nasty people could mess with the internets and use them to cause and spread misinformation.

Well, yeah, and how is that different from our not-so upheavally present day?

Please email your senators on both side of the aisle with your opinions on the matter.

[HT: Raw Story]

28 Responses to "Lieberman Backpedals on Internet Kill Switch. Kinda. NOT!"
MrWhy | Sunday June 20, 2010 02:21 pm 1

That’s Lie-berman.

AZ Matt | Sunday June 20, 2010 04:35 pm 2

Isn’t Joe a Rentboy for the GOP?

Ann in AZ | Monday June 21, 2010 07:59 am 3

Great post, Lisa! Seems sad that we should have to tell Senators that this proposed law is blatantly unconstitutional on its face! The tea party people are worried about their second amendment rights; they should be seriously worried about their first amendment rights! Bad enough that they now have assumed the right to listen in to our personal conversations and monitor our e-mails and US mail. Now this! I don’t think so!!!

Twain | Monday June 21, 2010 08:00 am 4

Thanks for not putting Lieberman’s picture up.

Praedor | Monday June 21, 2010 08:03 am 5

Since the “war on terra” is forever, that means the Prez can permanently kill the connection to Wikileaks, the TRUE target of this legislation. That any any website that dares to criticize Israel and US policy in that regard.

ShotoJamf | Monday June 21, 2010 08:09 am 6
In response to Twain @ 4

Second that. I’m not so sure my eyeballs could take the strain of viewing a picture of Holy Joe Douchebag this early on a Monday morning…

Prairie Sunshine | Monday June 21, 2010 08:10 am 7

Heard this song before, haven’t we… kill the toobz to protect the toobz.

tanbark | Monday June 21, 2010 08:13 am 8

Yeah, Joe’s sho’nuff got one foot in the “1984″ camp, but let’s not forget who re-empowered him by letting him keep his Senatorial clout after he supported and campaigned for…taaadaaa…John McCain.

Obama could have and should have, put this shitbird under the political bridge with the rest of the trolls, but instead, he did rehab on him, just like he’s done with the repubs.

That he’s now pimping for throttling the internet, should come as no surprise. Plus, with what’s coming down the political turnpike for Obama and the dems, and much of it generated on the ‘net, I doubt they’re too outraged at Lieberman’s brave new world.

Security trumps everything, y’know?

Badwater | Monday June 21, 2010 08:26 am 9

Tie it to the color-coded threat levels. That’s never manipulated for political reasons, right?

Phoenix Woman | Monday June 21, 2010 08:27 am 10
In response to AZ Matt @ 2

That’s how he got to be a senator in the first place. Movement conservatives and Republicans wanted revenge on Lowell Weicker for being principled enough to back Nixon’s impeachment, but for over a decade they were frustrated because he was simply too popular. Finally, in 1988, they wound up telling Connecticut Republicans to vote for Lieberman. (Google “Lieberman Buckley Weicker” for the whole sad story.)

Ann in AZ | Monday June 21, 2010 08:29 am 11

David Dayen has a fresh cross-post up: 62 Regulators, 4,000 Wells: MMS in the Gulf

Phoenix Woman | Monday June 21, 2010 08:30 am 12
In response to tanbark @ 8

Hell, Lieberman backstabbed the Clintons and they forgave him. If he’d done that a fellow Republican (which is what he is, for all intents and purposes), he would have been nailed a long time ago — much as the Republicans used him to punish Lowell Weicker.

macsurf | Monday June 21, 2010 08:32 am 13

Guys and Gals, we can slam Joe Liarman and Susan Collins all we like as potential censors, but where are the so called liberals and progressives in the Senate on this?

Where’s Kerry? Where’s Feingold, Feinstein, and Boxer?

They are noticably absent in this debate.

We progresive/liberals got sold a big old bill of goods in 2008. This is all about preserving oligarchy and corporatism, nothing else.

I’ve just, sadly, come to accept it all. After all, if the “Great Mulatto Hope” turned out to be such a false prophet, where do we go from here?

I just wish “Uncle Teddy”, as all us Irish Catholic liberals in Massachusetts who loved the “Liberal Lion” call him, was still here.

I’m sure he’d have some choice for words for the not even one term US Senator he helped propel to the top.

I keep hoping “Sweet Caroline” will speak up about what a disappointment Obama’s been, but I’m definitely not holding my breath.

darkblack | Monday June 21, 2010 08:40 am 14

As one of Joe Lieberman’s ‘friends on the internet’, I applaud his efforts to superimpose communist and ‘rogue state’ repression tactics over the tattered remnants of free discourse in America.
This sort of proactive, punitive law is ‘needed’ to combat the rising tide of rational liberalism and logic, and not a moment too soon.


Praedor | Monday June 21, 2010 08:41 am 15

I could support this nonsense IF and only if the kill switch was hard-wired to Joe. The President MUST throw the kill switch any time we are at war, for the entire duration of that war, and cut off ANY website or news story featuring any interview with Joe.

That is a kill switch I can get behind.

plunger | Monday June 21, 2010 08:48 am 16

When you represent a country whose agenda is in fact, endless war, the term “time of war,” actually means, “now, and forever.”

Whenever you hear Lieberman use the term “time of war,” he means NOW!

shaw53 | Monday June 21, 2010 08:49 am 17

This kind of legislation is inevitable. The Internet Pipes provide too much transparency to conduct a Faux Govt. Joe is all about posturing for power, theres a lotta reasons a lotta power freaks would want this crap. Wikileaks is definitely one of them buy hey! FDL is also one. I am pretty sure Joe hates FDL and would love to see it squished under his boot heel.

Many govt types are only recently waking up to the power and scope of the Internets and I suspect that the more established power monger sociopaths in the Senate, Executive and Military/National Security branches are among the least happy re this power, scope and bright shining light on their cockroachy activities.

greenharper | Monday June 21, 2010 08:59 am 18

Lieberman: “We need this capacity in a time of war. We need the capacity for the president to say, ‘Internet service provider, we’ve got to disconnect the American Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country, or we have to put a patch on this part of it’.”

Wait, Intertubes history buffs: Don’t I remember that the whole original point of developing the net was to PERMIT communication in time of war in case, e.g., the Pentagon got zeroed out? DARPA, Defense etc., etc., and all that?

Clavis | Monday June 21, 2010 09:13 am 19
In response to plunger @ 16

Exactly. I remember when I first noticed the Bush crew using the phrase “a time of war” again and again… it’s typical Frank Luntz-type scumbaggery where you’re not saying you’re fighting a war, exactly, because that would imply that there was a specific army or nation against which we were fighting — one that could surrender someday — but instead, are simply in a sort of condition, like herpes, that never goes away but that we all just sort of have to get used to and learn to live with.

It’s evil… and you can see how evil it is when it’s used (as the foul Lieberman does here) as shorthand for “Shut up and let us do what we want, or else you’re not Serious about Terrorism…”

I miss my country.

shaw53 | Monday June 21, 2010 09:20 am 20
In response to greenharper @ 18

Which is why we will see an “alternate internet” set up for the Dept. Of Defense. THEN they can strangle the toobz… hey, wait a sec, this sounds like some sci-fi thingie…

whattheincorporated | Monday June 21, 2010 09:37 am 21

I heard that they’ll try to sell it to libs as a good ideas.

They’re contemplating telling libs that the internet killswitch shuts off the internet and Cheneys pacemaker.

I would be seriously torn up…I mean a vote to preserve the internet would be a vote to preserve cheney…and I don’t know how I’d be able to support it.

dagoril | Monday June 21, 2010 11:43 am 22

Well every piece of technology has a technological work around. We just need to make sure that every progressive blogger and their audience knows a work around.

It’s either that or surrender to the Corporatist-Asshole Complex trying to take over the country.

tanbark | Monday June 21, 2010 12:28 pm 24
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 12

Phoenix: true. But the Clinton’s didn’t allow him to take over as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

And I don’t recall his doing something to them as in-your-face “fuck you!” as supporting John McCain.

(Don’t forget, Hillary tried to salvage her imploding campaign by sucking up to the right by praising McCain, herself, along with all the rest of it. I don’t remember the timeline of whatever it was he did to Bill/them, but I do remember that in the Connecticut primary she endorsed him over an antiwar candidate, Ned Lamont.)

tanbark | Monday June 21, 2010 12:44 pm 25
In response to plunger @ 16

“Whenever you hear Lieberman use the term “time of war”, he means

Or, ASAP….and the location of the longed-for full-on conflict is not a secret, either. He wants us to do Iran so badly he can taste it.
He’s also worried that Obama just might have the smarts and the political courage to actually get us out of the two clusterfucks, although, I have serious doubts about that.

riceklown | Monday June 21, 2010 12:57 pm 26

This is nonsense and a myth! Lieberman, as much as we all love to hate him, is actually refining and constraining *existing*, since 1932, presidential powers. Don’t believe me, believe TPMDC:

OldFatGuy | Monday June 21, 2010 02:21 pm 27

This is already a done deal.

And no, most Americans won’t raise a stink at all…until the day they can’t get on the toobz. THEN they’ll bitch, and then it’ll be to late.

Done deal. It’s not a matter of if, only when. In fact, I’d bet dollars to donuts the President could effectively do it today without any laws. What makes anyone think the ISP providers wouldn’t work with the government the same way the telecoms did regarding wiretapping??

Man I hope Americans wake the fuck up someday. Even if, as likely, it’s after I’m gone, I sure hope they do.

Thanks for posting this. Called my two Senators today after reading this. Fat lot of good it’ll do considering I was on a first name basis with one of the girls in Webb’s office during the health care fiasco, and it did no good.

progress | Monday June 21, 2010 11:09 pm 28

Because other countries already have that in place and we have to keep up with the Hu Jintaos?

Are we supposed to keep up with totalitarian regimes. Why are we having a race to the bottom with totalitarian nations instead of a race to the top with more egalitarian & democratic nations like in some european countries which provide free internet with certain rates as a basic right to all of its citizens.

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