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Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:06 PM

WaPo: The U.S. government couldn't shut down the Internet, right? Think again.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-government-couldnt-shut-down-the-internet-right-think-again/2020/03/06/6074dc86-5fe5-11ea-b014-4fafa866bb81_story.html

Written by Jessica Rosenworcel, member of the FCC.

It's been good to know you all.

In the age of the always-on Internet, what happens when a government decides to turn it off? For many people around the world, this is no longer a theoretical question.

Last year, Internet service was shut off for roughly seven months in India’s Kashmir Valley, affecting 7 million people. The government of the world’s largest democracy justified the blackout by saying it was necessary to avoid protests and loss of life. In Bangladesh, a government-directed shut-off disrupted humanitarian and emergency services in Rohingya refugee camps for more than six weeks in 2019. Congo blacked out the Internet for 20 days after last December’s elections, preventing electoral observers from relaying information from rural polling stations. Ethiopian authorities shut down the Internet for three days last June to prevent student cheating on national exams. In January, there were outages in Iran during protests over the downing of a Ukrainian plane, following a week-long blackout last year after the price of fuel went up.


Section 706 of this law allows the president to shut down or take control of “any facility or station for wire communication” if he proclaims “that there exists a state or threat of war involving the United States.” With respect to wireless communications, suspending service is permitted not only in a “war or a threat of war,” but merely if there is a presidential proclamation of a “state of public peril” or simply a “disaster or other national emergency.” There is no requirement in the law for the president to provide any advance notice to Congress.

And as recently as 2010, a Senate committee report on protecting cyberspace concluded that section 706 “gives the President the authority to take over wire communications in the United States and, if the President so chooses, shut a network down.” That means if a sitting president wants to shut down the Internet or selectively cut off a social media outlet or other service, all it takes is an opinion from his attorney general that Section 706 gives him the authority to do so.

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Reply WaPo: The U.S. government couldn't shut down the Internet, right? Think again. (Original post)
erronis Mar 2020 OP
2naSalit Mar 2020 #1
defacto7 Mar 2020 #2
htuttle Mar 2020 #3
empedocles Mar 2020 #4
ooky Mar 2020 #5
ProudMNDemocrat Mar 2020 #6
WyattKansas Mar 2020 #7
superpatriotman Mar 2020 #8
Hekate Mar 2020 #9
Bengus81 Mar 2020 #10
spanone Mar 2020 #12
erronis Mar 2020 #11

Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:07 PM

1. Don't help them by giving them ideas!

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:10 PM

2. That's why I have a short wave radio on hand.

and a good antenna.

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:14 PM

3. And deprive Twitler of his platform?

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:16 PM

4. Congress needs to pass reform legislation on this

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:20 PM

5. He isn't doing that and lose his twitter and social platforms. nt

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:21 PM

6. Turning off the Internet will AFFECT the Economy BIBGLY!!!!!!!

More than 75% of all Business done these days is done online. Mine included via Social Media.

Shut down the Internet, the Stock Market will drop another 2,000 plus points due to business losses.

Nota smart move by any means.

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Response to ProudMNDemocrat (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:24 PM

7. Yep, it would be like shooting yourself in the nuts.

Especially when you consider the disruption with tax revenue... Crash and burn.

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 01:51 PM

8. "presidential proclamation"

That's a terrifying thought

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 02:09 PM

9. Well, yeah. Kick

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 02:11 PM

10. Not just about ideas but also E-commerce

Wonder what Bezos would do if Trump pulled that stunt?

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Response to Bengus81 (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 02:37 PM

12. Supreme court would give trump the green light....

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Response to erronis (Original post)

Mon Mar 9, 2020, 02:33 PM

11. "Shutting down the internet" doesn't mean that it can't be done selectively.

Not to give the trumpsters/wanna-be oligarchs any more ideas, but...

China has worked hard at limiting traffic to/from certain sites, domains, IP ranges. As has rUSSRia, NORK, and other dictator-led states. Personal privacy controls and encryption have been effectively disabled. VPNs, TOR browsers, etc. are illegal or get you flagged for a "visit".

Of course, the peeResident and other WH stoogies will have access to their favorite apps, sites. Loyal fux-tv viewers will still be able to stream state media messages over the inner-tubes.

Others of us may find interesting changes in the pages we visit, the emails we send/receive. Or see nothing at all.

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