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The Struggle for Net Neutrality

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From what's known, if ACTA measures are adopted, consider the implications. Consumer Internet communications and content will be monitored, threatening privacy, civil liberties, and a free and open Internet. In addition, new Net Neutrality rules and congressional legislation codifying them will be subverted by ACTA authority.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009

This writer's May 22 article said the following:

On April 1, two bills endangering a free and open Internet were introduced in the Senate:

-- S. 773: Cybersecurity Act of 2009 "to ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective cybersecurity defenses against disruption, and for other purposes."

S. 773 was referred to the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, but not yet voted on.

-- S. 778: A bill to establish, within the Executive Office of the President, the Office of National Cybersecurity Advisor (aka czar). The bill was referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where it remains.

Accompanying information said Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe introduced the legislation to address:

"our country's unacceptable vulnerability to massive cyber crime, global cyber espionage, and cyber attacks that could cripple our critical infrastructure."

We presently face cyber espionage threats, they said, as well as "another great vulnerability....to our private sector critical infrastructure - banking, utilities, air/rail/auto traffic control, telecommunications - from disruptive cyber attacks that could literally shut down our way of life."

"This proposed legislation will bring new high-level governmental attention to develop a fully integrated, thoroughly coordinated, public-private partnership to our cyber security efforts in the 21st century" through what's unstated - privacy violations by subverting a free and open Internet.

During a March Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing, Senator Rockefeller said that we'd all be better off if the Internet was never invented. His precise words were: "Would it have been better if we'd never have invented the Internet and had to use paper and pencil or whatever!" Left unsaid was that without a free and open Internet, few alternatives for getting real news and information would exist, at least with the ease and free accessibility computers provide.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) Jennifer Granick expressed concern about "giving the federal government unprecedented power over the Internet without necessarily improving security in the ways that matter most. (These bills) should be opposed or radically amended."

Here's what they'll do:

-- federalize critical infrastructure security, including banks, telecommunications and energy, shifting power away from providers and users to Washington;

-- give "the president unfettered authority to shut down Internet traffic in (whatever he calls) an emergency and disconnect critical infrastructure systems on national security grounds....;"

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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