Egypt turns off internet, Lieberman wants same option for US

Discuss

103 Responses to “Egypt turns off internet, Lieberman wants same option for US”

  1. yri says:

    This is one instance in which our rampant corporatism might be helpful, as people have pointed out, because WWW = $$$, and every minute of downtime cuts into profits. The system and the subversives sharing a common goal, albeit for different reasons. Nice.

    • dagfooyo says:

      If only. I think you guys are underestimating the evilness of corporations. And how a bit of political pressure from lobbyists would turn an “off switch” into an “off for everybody but us switch”. Instant worst-case-scenario tiered internet. No legislation required!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I thought the internet was designed to detect situations like this as dammage and route around it. Why isn’t this routing happening automatically? Is it that perhaps our curent version of the net has been designed to have critical choke points to overcome this design feature?

  3. bodenski says:

    It is not like the US government* would want to mess with out junk.

    *who thinks of internets as tubes

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Internet Switch is flacid. Nice touch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Forget about porn surfing, Facebook, Twitter, checking your e-mail and browsing the web for a minute. Almost every company in the US uses e-mail to communicate with their customers. What exactly do they think would happen if ALL commerce comes to an end?

    No internet means:
    Business phone systems will stop working (VOIP)
    Business fax systems will stop working (FOIP)
    ATMS will stop working
    Credit card machines will stop working
    Cloud storage will be unavailable
    The stock market will collapse
    Many traffic lights will stop working
    Banks will not be able to process transactions

    etc

    More succinctly, the entire US economy will collapse within days, if not hours. The internet is not just used for social networking. It’s used for EVERYTHING.

    • bobthecitizen says:

      We have an economy?

      What we have is a complex web of corruption, graft, kickbacks, and bailouts. The financial insanity that the last 3 or 4 administrations have perpetrated is as stable as a jello skyscraper and now we’re using quantitative easing? QE is the hallmark tool of failing banana republics.

      Why is the world running, not walking, away from the financial goat roping that the US is doing?

      France, UK, Russia, China all have been predicting a total failure of the US financial system for some time.

      The US government will try to use the internet off switch the same way Egypt is, with similar results It will be a desperation move and the consequences will be blamed on terrorists, insurgents or boogeymen, whatever the convienent “threat” is they choose.

      Applying logic and morals to the US government’s actions is like explaining calculus to a fish, they won’t get it and don’t care in the least.

  6. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Moderator note: Please move the Biden discussion to the Biden thread. http://www.boingboing.net/2011/01/28/joe-biden-says-mubar.html

  7. Anonymous says:

    Consider me uneducated, but I have no clue who this guy really is. I plan on figuring out who he is, and how to vote against him. I figure anyone could be better than this guy, but I will try my best to educate myself about the different senators before the election so that I don’t help perpetuate this sort of thing. Good god this is scary.

    I hereby pledge to always vote.

  8. Anonymous says:

    we just all need to make plan as a group for when the internetz does fall so we all can do what needs to be done rather than going shit the internets down wtf are we gonna do running around like headless chicken rather than going ok on the secound day from it going down we go to DC Protest 3 day white house 4 day take politions hostage untill its turned back on or day 5 just start a new government one for the people or day 6 every man for himself!

  9. gorckat says:

    Sen. Mikulski and Cardin emailed and asked to oppose.

    Based on a response I got several years ago from Mikulski on DMCA stuff, I have a feeling she will support the kill switch.

  10. Mister44 says:

    If you’re really worried about a nation-wide communications black out – learn ham Radio and get your license. Note it was the the go to technology in “The Day After”.

  11. Teller says:

    I remember the days when all you had to do was take over the radio station. Now GOML!

  12. tuneintokyo says:

    I imagined for a moment what life would be like without the internet. I’d probably be outside getting some sun and fresh air. The thought was relaxing… then I realized we will always be bound to the interwebs

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, turning off my internet will help me further my education but cutting off access to my classes and putting me further in debt by having to afford day care to actually drive across town to sit in class.

    That’s just a brilliant idea for this country. I think someone needs his head examined.

  14. Ugly Canuck says:

    So this is to allow the Egyptian government to carry out massacres over the next 36 hours to re-instate Mubarek’s reign of terror?

  15. dderidex says:

    Wow. Okay, first problem. An “Internet kill switch” ALREADY EXISTS. The President alone has it…sort of, under wartime power control of communication. The point of this legislation isn’t to create something that doesn’t exist…but to actually define what the power IS, to provide limits to it.

  16. putty says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to use the internet to say fuck Lieberman.

  17. Thebes says:

    What we really need are community based localnets which can pass limited messages between each other. They could be autonomously meshing wifi networks with a basic bbs and file sharing abilities. For longer distance communications important photographs, etc, could be sent via HF radio (shortwave) using slow scan tv, pirate HF stations are very difficult to locate if remotely operated. Telephone lines could possibly link cities regionally in something like fidonet of old.

    The great thing about a wifi localnet would be that people could join it anonymously after browsing it from equipment they already have, even if they didn’t know it existed before browsing. It would provide fairly robust back-channel communications using mostly ubiquitous hardware.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Some interesting pushback against kill-switches, et al:

    http://blog.kozubik.com/john_kozubik/2010/09/ignoring-the-kill-switch.html

    The fork(s) of the Internet are coming…

  19. Shithead says:

    Internet is a form of “the press” and speech among other things. Why would “we the people” let politicians decide whether we have freedom of speech or freedom of the press?

    It’s out of there hands thanks to our forefathers.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Without the internet, I could not work.
    I am a freelance translator and webmaster, and 95% of my contact with clients is through the internet.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Herr Lieberman obviously doesn’t pay much attention to history. The only governments that shut off the Internet are the ones getting overthrown.

  22. McProf says:

    This “aid to Egypt” is important to understand:

    It is typically a way for the U.S. Government to channel money to its top five weapons makers: it is not as if we give Egypt and others billions for army salary or other purposes; instead, the money must be spent on our weapons systems. Often, the money never leaves the U.S. at all.

    People generally overestimate our contributions by a factor of 10-100. And the tiny amount we do give is often this form–channeling money to ourselves in others’ names (e.g., American experts are paid hundreds a day to advise others on how to embrace reforms that just happen to be in the American interest!)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Why did Gore pick droopy dawg as his running mate? What was the logic? Can someone please explain?

  24. EeyoreX says:

    And here´s the skinny on Vodaphones involvement:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/vodafone-confirms-role-egypts-cellular-internet-blackout/

    If you have a Vodafone account, right now could be a very, very, good time to switch to some other provider. Or at the very least write them a letter.
    No custoumers = no buisness, It´s that simple.

  25. Anonymous says:

    redditors knew about this going on way before it became “world news headlines” ^^go reddit

  26. DeWynken says:

    I for one, welcome our new civil servant overlords…oh, wait..

  27. BobbyMike says:

    I feel perfectly fine about a civil servant having control over the internet.

    Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now.

    Indiana: Who?

    Maj. Eaton: Top… men.

    Then again, maybe not.

  28. Kosmoid says:

    Back to the BBS, I guess.

  29. kpurcell says:

    So let me see here. If a foreign nation or otherwise hostile group wants to disrupt the US flow of commerce and information and attack our internets. The first reaction of our government is to switch off the internets? Great, thanks for doing the heavy lifting DHS.

    • Snowrunner says:

      See, the reason why this will / can happen is that most people fail to understand how terror works.

      They presume that the goal of terror is to blow stuff up when in reality the blowing up stuff is merely a means to an end.

      If people would realize that the goal is to make you afraid enough to force those in power to change their ways terrorism would quickly lose a lot of it’s power.

      But if you look all over the Western World in the last decade the only one who truly understood it are our own elected officials, who have gotten really good in terrorizing the majority of us.

      Who needs terrorists when you have “leaders” like ours?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hans Gruber: The circuits that cannot be cut are cut automatically in response to a terrorist incident. You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the F…B…I.

  30. AirPillo says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to look back at Joseph McCarthy and think that his miniature dictator bullshit was an isolated thing in american history.

    • Anonymous says:

      Airpillo,
      The dictator thing is alive and brewing in our nation’s capitol. MacCarthy and Nixon are “saints” compared to current leaders.
      pbright

  31. cmuwriter says:

    I don’t know any of the math, but just think of what harm it would do to the economy if people couldn’t buy stuff off the internet in the United States for just a few hours. Just think about it.

    • Patrick Austin says:

      I don’t want them to have this power, but still I have a really hard time imaging a situation in which this power would be used. You’d be crippling or entirely taking down most commerce in the united states and thus pissing off a lot of very large companies. If there’s one thing our government doesn’t do, it’s piss off large companies.

      • bobthecitizen says:

        I can see when they’d abuse, I mean, use this power:

        A general strike, protesting lost civil liberties
        A demand for a return to constitutionality
        A demand the fed be eliminated
        A strong grassroots push to eliminate DHS
        Any real action by the citizenry designed to restore the “inalienable” rights the constitution acknowledges.

        Every time some jerk flys a plane into a building tries to blow something up the government’s first response is to see how they can crackdown on us, if they have the power, they will abuse it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This is like giving the government the power to destroy all books printed in English, anywhere. Its not good.

    The Internet is essential for the furthering of a Democracy in the future. Destroy it and you kill an entire culture of people.

  33. Anonymous says:

    This is dangerous stuff. Wasn’t the internet invented so that it *couldn’t* be shut down and cut off from itself in case of terrorist attack? Truly, we are our own worst enemies.

  34. signsofrain says:

    I have this sense that the oldsters that run the world are getting freaked out about how much power the internet gives the average citizen. Go ahead freedom-haters, cut off our internet. We’ll set up packet radio stations, BBSes, portable standalone file-sharing nodes. The recording industry hasn’t managed to magically reverse technological progress and the government won’t be able to either. I have to laugh at these fools. What is all this “cyberwar” nonsense anyway? Lieberman doesn’t know the first thing about technology, does he even know what he’s pushing? I’m livin’ in a cuckoo clock.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cyberwar threat is real: look at the joint US-Israel Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear program, or the denial-of-service attacks on Wikileaks. But is cyberwar combatted by erasing the battlefield — no, the PRIZE itself? Here, Lieberman just wants to follow in the footsteps of wannabe dictators who use scare tactics to justify intrusive powers over citizens. Also — he’s an old fart, and doesn’t really understand the first thing about the www.

  35. Sean Bonner says:

    “When you watch election debates on TV, doesn’t it infuriate you that no one ever answers the questions that are actually asked? That they use complicated sentences that *sound* like they answer the question but actually don’t? If not, go back and listen to/read transcripts of some presidential debates, and try to actually analyze what gets said. That’s what happened here.”

    Yes it’s infuriating and yes I know exactly what happened here, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to play ball and let it slide. Dude was was asked a yes or no question and gave a slippery answer that leaned towards no. If he wanted to say yes he should have said it.

  36. Anonymous says:

    “Cybersecurity Emergency” Are there any examples off what this would look like. What emergency would be fixed by shutting down the internet? I cannot fathom what good this could possibly accomplish. Is Joe thinking some super virus is going to leap from my PC into my body?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Only a government opposed to the will of the people would ask for way to suppress free speech.

  38. Anonymous says:

    All the proponents of an internet switch have yet to wait for the outcome of the internet blockade. What will all these people do who usually spend their time chatting, updating profiles, twittering, etc. once they have all this spare time on their hands? How will the authorities be able to know what they’re up to once the tranparency of internet communication is gone? Plus they’ll have at leats one more thing to be really angry about. Not angry like someone who’s been kicked around but angry like substance addicts on the brim of withdrawal. Even those who were moderate before moght well get angry and take it to the streets. No fun, baby!

  39. SAMO1415 says:

    Christ, what an assho- [CLICK!]

  40. sing it, baby says:

    A knave.

  41. Cax6ton says:

    I have difficulty believing that our corporate overlords would allow such a thing, given how dependent most companies are dependent on the internet – it’s not just web traffic and commerce, but evpn, cloud services and the like. Shutting off the internet would effectively cripple any corporation that has more than a single office networked together.

  42. sally599 says:

    I must enjoy being mad, why do I read this site?

  43. Anonymous says:

    hahahahah AWESOME…. guys this is great news… if they shut off the internet in the US do you know now many disgruntled people there is going to be…people will finally get off there asses stop checking facebook and twitter and protest in the streets…. shutting the internet off in the USA will be the best plan for a nation wide movement for change…

  44. SonOfSamSeaborn says:

    Vodafone have confirmed that they’ve now been asked to begin shutting down cellphone services in certain areas of Egypt and that they are required to comply. I don’t like this.

  45. Angryjim says:

    Isn’t he retiring? obviously not soon enough.

  46. IronEdithKidd says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

    Can I propose a better law? No congresscritter gets to write legislation limiting any technology they can’t figure out. Need help emailing or logging into Facebook? You don’t get to write any ‘net kill switch legislation. Period.

  47. mellon says:

    I wish people would actually consult what Biden said before repeating the highly inflammatory, yet quite inaccurate, interpretation someone gave for what he said. He’s been repeating the exact same thing as the State Department talking head, which is to say he’s carefully avoiding validating what the protestors are saying, so as to maintain deniability in case Mubarak survives the current round of protests. He is *not* saying that Mubarak is not a dictator, nor is he saying that the protestors’ grievances aren’t valid.

    Why is this important? Progressives get upset when right-wing zealots put words in our mouths, and outright lie about what we have said, and what our intentions are. How can we legitimately complain about this if we routinely do the same thing?

    We might wish for the U.S. to take a firmer stance against Mubarak’s regime, but for God’s sake, let’s get the facts right!

    • Sean Bonner says:

      I wish people would actually consult what Biden said before repeating the highly inflammatory, yet quite inaccurate, interpretation someone gave for what he said.

      Did you follow the link I included when I referenced that comment? It’s to a video interview with a published transcript. Biden’s exact quote is: “I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

      • mellon says:

        Yes, that’s right. He would not refer to him as a dictator. He can’t, because he’s a head of an ally state. To refer to him as a dictator would essentially mean breaking off diplomatic relations with Egypt. For better or for worse, that’s not our current foreign policy.

        Note, however, that he did not say “he is not a dictator.” He could have said that. The reason he didn’t say that is that he knows full well that Mubarak is a dictator. He just can’t formally acknowledge that fact without creating a diplomatic incident, so he doesn’t formally acknowledge it.

        Anybody who listened critically to what Biden said, including Mubarak, could easily understand that he was essentially acknowledging that Mubarak is a dictator without formally acknowledging this fact.

        So when you turn around and attribute to Biden the opposite position—that he is denying that Mubarak is a dictator, when he did no such thing—is engaged in spin. To what end? Why should right-thinking progressives believe that Biden has said that Mubarak is not a dictator? What value does this add?

        • Sean Bonner says:

          You are making some big assumptions and then upset I’m not making the same ones. I listened to what he said and what he said alone. He didn’t have some sidebar with me telling me what he meant, so I can only go off what he said. He was asked “Should Mubarak be seen as a dictator?” and responded “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things… I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

          That is pretty clear to me, maybe it isn’t to you, but that’s your choice, not mine.

          • AnthonyC says:

            Diplomacy is always delicate. WOrds are always chosen carefully. “He is not a dictator,” is not the same sentence as, “I would not refer to him as a dictator.” Those sentences mean different things. I might be easy to infer that the second sentence implies the first, but that is not a logically valid inference. We have no way of knowing what Biden actually thinks, because he did not say.

            When you watch election debates on TV, doesn’t it infuriate you that no one ever answers the questions that are actually asked? That they use complicated sentences that *sound* like they answer the question but actually don’t? If not, go back and listen to/read transcripts of some presidential debates, and try to actually analyze what gets said. That’s what happened here.

          • ascagnel says:

            Look carefully at the words Biden chose:

            “I would not call him a dictator.”

            This is very different from:

            “I don’t think he’s a dictator.”

            Biden can’t be clear, even though he wants to. The important bit here is the “would not call” — the subjunctive isn’t used very frequently in English, but is the only way to properly phrase his statement (think of it as a Scooby Doo episode: “I wouldn’t have been caught, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”)

            Its double speak for “he’s a dictator, but I can’t come right out and say it.”

          • Sean Bonner says:

            I’m sorry but “it was political double speak” isn’t a valid argument. Words have meanings.

          • mellon says:

            I’m sorry but “it was political double speak” isn’t a valid argument. Words have meanings.

            On the one hand, you deny that words have the specific meaning that Biden’s words were quite obviously intended to have, and on the other, you insist that you can interpret them as meaning something different than what I interpret them to mean.

            You can’t have it both ways. Either words do not have meanings, in which case we have to interpret them, or words do have meanings, and Biden chose to use the subjunctive for a specific reason—the one that ascagnel articulated much more clearly than I did.

            Rather than debate the grammar further, let me ask you a different question: what is it that you think Biden *should* have said? Should he have explicitly said that Mubarak is a dictator? If so, why?

        • Anonymous says:

          Semantecs are for people who are full of Crap and don’t care about right vs wrong. He was given the opportunity to denounce him as a dictator, which Apparently, Everyone knows he is, but he did not. Classic leadership from a Country/Company with a Vested interest. No wonder the Middle East is filled with hate for us.

          • mellon says:

            Semantecs are for people who are full of Crap and don’t care about right vs wrong.

            On the contrary, if you care about right and wrong, first of all you avoid telling untruths. And secondly, you speak clearly and accurately. Mubarak’s behavior here is reprehensible. It’s also stupid—it won’t work, and just makes him look worse.

            But this article is full of untruths, half-truths and misrepresentations, and so we are left in a boxing match with a pillow.

            For instance, the Internet kill switch law is a bad law. But it doesn’t actually do what the article says it does. Does it represent a slippery slope in that direction? Sure. But when we debate it, let’s be clear about what it actually says, so that we don’t wind up getting caught in a rhetorical trap and losing the debate because we’ve discredited ourselves by being so careless about the facts.

            For example, Biden’s foreign policy is wrong—we shouldn’t have been backing Mubarak all these years, any more than we should have been backing Saddam Hussein or the Shah of Iran. Doing so was wrong. But let’s be clear about what Biden is actually saying. We don’t have to exaggerate what he’s saying to see what’s wrong with it.

            Indeed when we exaggerate what he is saying, we focus on the wrong thing. What is important about what Biden said is “we are allies of the current Egyptian government.” What he calls that government is immaterial. What matters is that at some point the U.S. government is going to have to decide what the events in Egypt mean for our foreign policy, and how to respond.

            But Tunisia did not require U.S. assistance to form a democracy. Why do we insult the people of Egypt by assuming that they need the support of the U.S. to form one? How’s that working out for the people of Iraq?

  48. ConstantineL says:

    I was reading this, and I had what I believe to be the natural response. That being one of anger at what must be uninhibited ignorance. However, upon googleing this news story I found that some are arguing that this limits presidential powers that are granted in ‘war time’. I have plan on reading this legislation over the weekend to see WTF is up with this mess. Still though why the hell would anyone make give a draconian name to any piece of legislation?

    Also I remain skeptical of the claims of those defending the ‘Kill Switch’ on the before mentioned grounds. I recognize that it is far to common for people to mischaracterize potentially hostile legislation as protecting your freedoms, when there is no way it could be practically used to do so.

  49. Anonymous says:

    All the government in Amerika will do is impose a multi-tiered system with the telcos. The big companies who use the Internet will pay a large amount of cash to use it. When the govt gets the proverbial Internet Switch and wants to use it, Internet access will be turned off to folks like you and I who cannot pay the HUGE monies like the big companies can – So you and I will be “Egypt’d” out of Internet usage while the big corporations will use the Net minus having to put up with people like me who just use up valuable bandwidth.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Hate the idea of an internet kill switch. But Leiberman isn’t the only one to say he want’s it. Obama does too (let’s be non-partisan here).

  51. manicbassman says:

    for those talking about setting up BBS’s… you must remember that BBS’s are useless when they can shut the landlines down… you need a distributed mesh network… the protocols used by the One-Laptop-Per-Child devices would be prefect if there were a way to provide relay links to link the small clouds…

    Backyard cantennas to provide line of sight linkage would be a start…

  52. CrewBaby says:

    All I can think is that the government may have FINALLY found a way to motivate the average basement-dweller or cublicle denizen into political outrage and/or activity.

    Seriously. You think there were protests about raising taxes? Threaten to take someone’s internet away. No WoW, no 4Chan, no BoingBoing, no Amazon or iTunes or Facebook. Then sit back and watch the whole internet population start to rumble.

    Whatever Lieberman’s smoking, I wish he’d share with the rest of the class.

  53. ConstantineL says:

    Additional on the notion of bizarre ‘shutting down the internet’ edge cases that should be avoided. Given that some people use service such as Vonage as there only phone service. Would it be the case that enacting these powers would remove there ability to have access to emergency services?

    I guess it would depend on the nature of the service and the internet restrictions. If anyone has knowledge about this I’m true curious to here what you have to say.

  54. mdh says:

    Why doe Droopy Dawg hate the First Amendment?

  55. mbernth says:

    Everything ██is█████ ████ ████fine ███ █ ████ love████ █████ democracy ███ and ███ ████ freedom ██

  56. Anonymous says:

    I’m an expat living in Cairo and know how helpless I felt when I could not communicate with my family or them with me. It is insane for anyone to get that much power that they can just flip a switch and black out communications that we have a “right” too. Mr. Liebermen needs to go home too!

  57. Digilante says:

    When are people (in power) going to stop thinking in “regional” terms? Region codes on DVDs, BDs, different plugs, model numbers, Amazon delivery restrictions, PAL/NTSC, 120V/240V. The internet, owned by us all, is one of the planet’s most precious resources that is helping to break down those regional barriers… or maybe that’s the problem – if the so-called “god” was terrified of us, why shouldn’t dumb politicians be:

    And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

    And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
    And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
    And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
    Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Joe Lieberman: great at turning things off.

  59. Michaela says:

    They can’t just SHUT off the internet. There are too many people who depend on it and use it for work and school. I go to college online…what am I supposed to do if it is shut off? People look for jobs online. How are we to get a position? How about the people who telecommute to work, because of children or health issues, etc.? The United States in the LAND OF THE FREE!! That is how we should remain!!!!

  60. Kosmoid says:

    Y’know the more I think about, the idea of shutting off the Internet might not be all that bad.

    Newspapers and magazines will thrive again. Kids will have time to do their homework. People will stop ruining their careers by posting their drunk antic pictures on F-book. Email armageddon–I’m loving this.

    People will have to support their local merchants, movie theaters, libraries, book stores, churches, etc. Phones will become phones again.

    People will write letters, and the Post Office will become profitable. People will stroll through their neighborhoods, and discover how to converse without being anonymous.

    And, I want my turntable back and the ability to walk into a record store a pick up a few 45s. Radio will play music again.

    • aelfscine says:

      Let’s just ban cars too – then people could go back to a simpler time of horses and buggies, not moving so fast and being so rushed.

      And eyeglasses – forcing the burden of sight onto millions. Without glasses the world is soft and fuzzy like a kitten. Sight makes it full of harsh angles and brutal realities.

      And zippers – crudely slamming two pieces of fabric together in an unnatural way, locking them together in hard, mechanical, soulless jaws, when a needle and thread could do the job so much more gently.

      And the needle and thread – crudely filleting fabric in an unnatural way, locking it together with hard, mechanical, soulless stabbings when simply holding your fly closed with your fingers could do the job so much more gently.

      In case the point hasn’t been made, any piece of technology can be romanced away with mushy yarns of ‘happier times.’ Everything was better when you were in high school, but that’s just because you weren’t old and fat yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Plus, without the internet I’ll have no idea how many people inexplicably think the 1950s were the golden age of all mankind.

    • chip says:

      Also, this: http://i.imgur.com/DKmLc.jpg

      The internet, like most technology, is a mixed bag. You have to take the bad with the good. But the internet, like most technology, is MORE GOOD than bad. For every problem it creates, it solves at least two others. We’re better off with it than without it. And if authoritarian regimes get knocked down a peg from time to time, well, that’s just the price we have to pay for instant access to funny cat videos.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or, we’ll all just kill each other. It could go either way…

  61. Cowicide says:

    I think most of you whining about Lieberman potentially turning off the Internet don’t realize how great it will be to no longer see, read nor hear about Lieberman through the Internet after he shuts it off.

    It’s worth it.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Since they are not using them, can we have their IPv4 addresses?

  63. M says:

    mellon, Biden had the opportunity to speak clearly, and failed. If anyone mistranslates him, he’s welcome to clarify. I’m listening, and I don’t hear him doing that.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I’m a web designer. I, like a lot of people, depend on the Internet for my livelihood. If the government “shuts the Internet off” are they going to compensate me for lost wages?

  65. Artimus Mangilord says:

    Glen Greenwald over at Salon has a great piece on the outgoing Sen. Lieberman and all the career praise that beltway insiders are heaping on him.

  66. Neuron says:

    Bruce Schneier explains why an internet kill switch is a bad idea in this 2008 NPR piece. In a nutshell: if there’s a kill switch, someone will hack it.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Not to question a pretty good piece, but your “Mubarak is a dictator” link goes to… Yahoo Answers?

    Here’s a better source:

    http://report.globalintegrity.org/Egypt/2008

    In summary:

    Government accountability remains a significant challenge across all branches of government in Egypt. The media remain under pressure by the government, as witnessed in a recent case where the courts sentenced a journalist to six months in prison for “spreading false news pertaining to the health status of the president.” No mechanism or appeals process exist in Egypt for citizens who are denied access to basic information, even within the court system. Egypt has an election monitoring agency, but it “is no more than a…tool [of the government]” and its inability to make recommendations or report violations renders it entirely ineffective.

  68. OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

    It’s a problem that takes care of itself. Business are so reliant on the internet now that the thought that this man wants the option to destroy it at the flick of a switch ought to make them think twice before donating to his campaign fund.

  69. Lobster says:

    I can’t wait till this guy’s out on his ass.

  70. Anonymous says:

    sputnik moment indeed

  71. Anonymous says:

    The U.S. supported the dictatorship of Egypt, so in some ways helped turn the key on the Internet.

  72. Mister44 says:

    You guys think this is a bad idea? You’ll wish you had listened to Joe when you’re sitting at your desk going, “ohshitohshitohshit” while Skynet systematically deletes your porn as it infects and takes over every computer over the internet.

  73. gracchus says:

    The sooner Droopy Dawg is out of office, the better — why the Dems still kiss his arse is beyond me. In the meantime, any time this bill is referenced it should be called the Lieberman-Collins-Mubarak Bill.

  74. Forteto says:

    In typical fashion, I can’t do much about this. However, I can point out that Egypt has a embassy in New York and Washington DC.

    And wouldn’t it be intresting if a few people showed up?

  75. Kevin Kenny says:

    Other nations have this capability, therefore we must have it.

    A strong leader isn’t afraid to destroy his nation’s economy in order to consolidate his rule. Starving peasants are easier to control.

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