Countdown to 9/12 — Tuesday links

| September 8, 2009

ITEM: My co-blogger, Bruce Henderson, has a post over at the New Ledger about the proposed legislation to give the President “emergency control of the Internet”:

S773 makes no attempt to outline and describe what form of emergency would trigger the use of these broad new powers to limit communication, nor any means by which it could be reviewed by anyone outside the executive branch. The bill also proscribes that the executive branch will perform periodic mapping” of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government.

Translation: the US government bureaucracy will be spending your tax dollars to figure out private networks, find choke points and places where they can control the flow of communication. Furthermore, companies (such as your ISP) are going to be required, by law, to supply the federal bureaucrats with whatever network, account, usage and history information they deem appropriate. All in the name of cyber safety, you see.

Read the whole thing. I propose that we label S773 “the stupid Rockefeller bill“, just as an earlier idiotic piece of legislation by (now former) Senator Fritz Hollings to require all computers to have controls to block digital copying became known on the Hill as “the stupid Hollings bill”. The stupid Hollings bill eventually died; let’s work to ensure that the stupid Rockefeller bill dies as well.

ITEM: It’s passe now, but guess what? Van Jones did not fill out the infamous 63-question form that the White House was requiring for background checks. No word on whether the FBI ran the usual mandatory background check on Jones and, if so, just what they reported to the White House. Meanwhile, the mainstream media is saying, “Who? What happened? Was it important?

ITEM: Maybe it’s just as well that Van Jones, the White House’s “Green Jobs czar” is gone. Doesn’t look as though those “green jobs” are materializing all that well.

ITEM: Speaking of clueless journalists, Sandra and I fly out tomorrow (Wednesday) to DC for the 9/12 March on the Capitol. Estimates of the expected protest crowd for Saturday have doubled, from 25,000 to 50,000. Anyone want to lay bets on how much actual coverage this gets in the mainstream media? ..bruce w..

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Category: 2010 Election, Environment, Idiot Congresspersons, Information Technology, Main, Obama Administration, The Interwebs, US Politics, You Say You Want a Revolution?

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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