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June 21st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How much power should govt. have over the internet?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are growing signs that the government wants more control over the internet.

For starters - a bipartisan Senate bill would give the president a so-called internet "kill switch." The measure would allow the president to control or even shut down the internet in emergency situations.

Sen. Joe Lieberman - a co-sponsor of the bill - says that America's economic security, national security and public safety are all at risk from new kinds of enemies... like cyber-terrorists. He says that's why the government needs more control over the internet in "times of war."

Critics worry about the level of control the bill would give to the president... and they claim it could have "unintended consequences."

Speaking of terrorism - the Homeland Security department says the U.S. must do more to monitor terrorist groups that use the internet to recruit and train.

DHS secretary Janet Napolitano says the government needs to find the right balance between protecting individuals' right to privacy and keeping the country safe.

This comes on the heels of several domestic terror attacks in which the internet played a key role. it's believed that the alleged terrorists in both the Fort Hood shooting and attempted bombing of Times Square were inspired by online postings of Islamic extremists.

Finally, the Federal Communications Commission is getting in the game too - taking steps toward more internet regulation.

Just last week - the FCC voted to formally consider tighter control over high-speed internet companies. Until now - these companies have operated with virtually no government oversight.

Here’s my question to you: How much power should the government have when it comes to the internet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kathy writes:
A "kill switch" is totally dangerous regarding freedom of speech. The internet gives us all access to the outside world immediately. Open, outside communication keeps nations and governments somewhat honest. Our media is already compromised with biased accounts of stories, our history books are being rewritten by conservative, short-sighted idiots and now we are going to allow a politician the right to control our internet. What crisis could be so bad to shut down our access to news and communication?

Steve in Clifton, Virginia writes:
The government should have sufficient involvement in the internet to ascertain security threats, address security threats, eliminate security threats to the American people. The internet moves our U.S. borders within the homes of every American citizen with a computer.

Thomas writes:
So now that China is overtaking us as the manufacturing leader, we're going to try to be more like them with greater government restrictions on the internet? I find it funny that the govt. is trying to exert more control over our citizens and shying away from controlling the illegal immigration "issue".

Greg in Minneapolis writes:
Jack, Had this been George W. Bush proposing a government "kill switch" on the internet, the impeachment proceedings would be well under way. We do not need "Big Brother" having anything to do with the internet… The only reason that there is to put in a "kill switch" is to deal with dissenting opinion in the only way they can, rather than counter with their own arguments.

Mark in Houston writes:
Jack, The outcry coming from those who use freedom of speech as an excuse to abuse our rights will be sounding off louder than those horns at the World Cup. We live in an age of fast-changing and advancing threats to this country. If shutting down the net serves a justified purpose in any one of those situations then, go for it. However, I can't think of too many people in elected office whom I would trust with that control.

Jack in Niceville, Florida writes:
The government gets to control the flow of information? Have you ever read "1984", Jack? No president, Democrat or Republican, should ever have that power.


Filed under: Government • Internet
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Gerry

    About as much as it has over the entainment industry.

    Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  2. david

    if a terrorist is communicating with the educations of hate ...nail em!!
    if they want to give more power to those controlling our access.....revolution the only solution!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  3. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl i think hackers that cause damage should face stiff jail time and fines for the havoc they cause. i think countries like nigeria that use to internet for fraud should be held accountable as well. i don't htink the government should be allowed to access my computer without a warrant. as for content, the internet was invented to traffic porn freely. with this as it's foundation pretty much every thing else goes. when the govt provides me with free internet, then they can look at my e-mails, just like my ex-boss did.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Eric Platt

    As much as they have over the leak in the Gulf – none.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Frustrated American

    Not one damn bit. Our government is out of control. They are not able to effectively respond to ANY disaster of ANY proportion in a consistent or timely fashion. When they do respond they over-react, over-reach, and under-deliver.
    It is time that Americans everywhere stood up in their local political sphere of influence and begin the process of over-throwing this out of control political machine we call a government. It is far from fair, far from being of the people and for the people, and a damn far sight from effective as well.
    I say we clean house and start over. What do we really have to lose at this point anyhow?

    June 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  6. Mike

    My instincts say that the internet needs some form of control to protect children from predators and help insulate them from inappropriate material. But having said that, anything the government touches, even with incredibly good intentions, usually ends up ferkakta.

    Mike,

    Katy, TX

    June 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  7. Michael D. Knox, Ph.D. Tampa, FL

    Zero. The government has shown itself to be a poor regulator of the oil industry, the financial markets, and our borders. These are simple undertakings compared to the internet. Let freedom of expression reign somewhere in the world.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  8. Richard35

    The Federal Government should have No power over the internet.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  9. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    None Mr. Cafferty. Everything the government touches is completely screwed up. I can see Obama's internet tax now. One cent for each stroke of the keyboard.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  10. Al Bledsoe

    Let's see, who owns the internet? Would it be maybe the same entity that owns Interstate Highway Systems and sets speed limits, weight limits, etc?

    June 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  11. Loren, Chicago

    As much or as little as it has over everything else. Government should perform a regulatory, but not a censorial function. Make sure that citizens are protected from criminals, but stay out of regulating the flow of information. Unfortunately, we have already heard the squeakings out of the White House that it views the Internet flow of information as a threat in much the same way it views Fox News, only two years after it helped get him elected. Oh, of course, make sure that any potential opponent can't use the same tools you did.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  12. Joe R - Houston

    Since the first amendment only says that congress shall pass NO LAW abridging freedom of speech, congress will have no problem passing laws which do just that.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Absolutely NONE! Particularly the part where they capture and save all of our emails and Google searches. As far as the dangers go, well, parents will just have to start being parents again and teach their kids how to go online safely, and never ever give out personal information to anyone.

    And if you’re too stupid to trash SPAM and bogus e-mails instead of opening them, that’s your problem, not mine. Give the government anymore power over the internet and it will screw that up just as badly as it screwed up Social Security and everything else it touched. Bad idea Jack, really bad idea.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Jack in Virginia

    Government should have as little power as possible and only just as much as the people have carefully decided to give it. That's the way the Founding Fathers wanted it. Unfortunately, so-called "progressives" don't give a damn what the Founding Fathers wanted or intended. *sigh*

    June 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    When Al Gore claimed to have helped create the internet while in the military I knew immediately that he was talking about the old Vietnam era teletype communications system which was the forerunner to the Internet which became the next generation of that technology. The military let Bill Gates run with the concept of personal computers.

    The Internet is currently the best global freedom of speech democracy individuals can participate in. Government should keep their paws off as much as possible.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Dayton Dave

    Jack,

    If they can stop those Spam emails, viruses and pop ups then I'm all for it.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  17. Paul Austin, Texas

    Before Al Gore invented the internet we never had these problems did we. LOL.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Simon/Orlando

    This is just a grab by the government to control the flow of information. The next step is to shut down only certain internet sites that they find offensive to their ideas. Control information and you will control the people. Welcome to the new Nationalist Social Party of The United States.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Ed from California

    The Internet needs to be regulated for safety and security. As far as content. If you don't like it, you can block it, or simply don't go back to that site. I do get concerned when purchasing products on the net using a credit card. But so far no problems. (I do use a card with a low limit)

    June 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  20. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack i am of the opinion that our government believes that what it can not control it should be able to kill at i's own discretion. I personally do not think that our government is capable of recognizing an internet threat much less could they take steps to stop it. You see Jack that would require intelligence and frankly, our government shows no signs of possessing any.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  21. Michele Braun

    None They have too much power now & you see how screwed
    up everything is. Michele Ks

    June 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  22. Conor in Chicago

    This is a dog an pony show. The government already has this power and will use it when it sees fit. All you need to do is look at the internet sites that suddenly didn't work for days after 9/11. All "
    subversive" web sites were shut down-including the website for one of my favorite bands-Rage Against The Machine.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  23. Tina Tx

    Not much. I do not want to be shut down because some terrorists has threatened our country. Isn't this what China does? Censureship? Our government does not stop the flow of spammers now but yet they want to shut things down when something goes wrong? No thanks. Keep messing up what you do best in Washington.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  24. Tina Tx

    It means that our good paying jobs are gone for good and we will be buying more cheap junk from them and God only knows what they put in their products that are going to kill us

    June 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Let me amend my earlier comment. I thought the whole idea of the internet was to be “unkillable.” It was designed to remain viable incase of attack so our vital communications and functions would still work no matter what an enemy tried. There must be a whole lot more to this bogus excuse, just like illegal wiretapping. In case you forgot, the government wanted to wiretap American citizens to protect us from terrorists. Well they got the first part right, but so far we’ve had to rely on ourselves and the stupidity of terrorists themselves to prevent attacks – the government sure didn’t help much.

    So what are they really up to? They record all our emails and phone conversations already, what do they mean balance privacy with security? There is no privacy anymore.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  26. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Since it was originally a creature of the government and exists over regulated fiber-optics, quite a bit is appropriate – which I warn libertarian Internet users about all the time. A "kill switch" to stop its use in a terrorist attack would be appropriate, though ironic given that the Internet was designed as a communications tool to help the military cope with a nuclear attack. What would also be appropriate is an Internet "red light district" for porn sites with a .xxx domain that would cost extra to access – thus stopping the problem of public employees and other teenagers surfing porn when they shouldn't be.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  27. AspenFreePress

    Early internet was freedom in the purist form I've seen it. We preach that we're free and that other nations envy our freedom, yet we allow government to shackle us. It's like the congregation in my church as a kid which would intone "amens," when the preacher talked up Christian charity and giving. Then when the service ended at noon these same Christian congregation members would pass by hitch-hikers without stopping en route to the country club for lunch. Our government has all it can say grace over now, so far as controlling things goes. Maybe it should leave the internet be for a while.
    Sterling Greenwood/AspenFreePress

    June 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  28. B.J., Quincy, Il

    That's a hard one . You want a gun to your head or you want one to your back?hmmmmmm.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  29. Barbara Mitchell

    I agree with Secy. Napalitono. There has to be a balance between govt. oversight and privacy. If there is no oversight, the terrorist and pedifiles will continue to have a field day. No one wants that.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  30. luva pendarvis

    there should be more control for the Internet.. people should not be allowed to put anything they please on the Internet. freedom of speech is one of our greatest freedoms, but there is a limit as to what they say in public. calling for the president's assassination, calling for
    the overthrow of our government, etc. should not be allowed.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  31. luva pendarvis

    there should be more control for the Internet.. people should not be allowed to put anything they please on the Internet. freedom of speech is one of our greatest freedoms, but there is a limit as to what they say in public. calling for the president's assassination, calling for
    the overthrow of our government, etc. should not be allowed. neither should invading people's privacy posting things on u-tube that are detrimental to someone.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  32. Lucy, from Austin,Texas

    The government should have exactly the same power over internet crimes that they have over our states and federal laws. A victim of internet crime should be able to press charges under their state or federal law which applies to the crime. The convicted criminal should be subject to any punishment the court with jurisdiction sentences them to. Granted many internet criminals will be committing a crime over the internet and then flee to their own country by the internet. However, there our laws that apply to criminals who flee the state or U.S. after committing the crime. I feel very strongly that when you come to a country and you break the law, you should be prepared to accept the sentence for the crime you committed. Granted, many times our law enforcement are overwhelmed and do not pursue what they term as "minor" crimes. However, every U.S. citizen should be able to seek their legal remedy for any crime committed against them in the U.S.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  33. gano

    NO !
    The Government has too much control on too many things now. If the Government keeps getting control over more and more things, the WE THE PEOPLE, WE THE PEOPLE will no longer be.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  34. Kris Miller, Sparks NV

    You can buy a book that tells you how to make a bomb...so you ban books? I don't think so. Same with internet. It has its good and bad points. Like it or not it is ingrained in our national fiber. We could not function without it.
    Give Obama a "kill switch"? He'd love the control. We'd be dead.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  35. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    This is something that always scared me about computers and the Internet. The world depends on them. Our military, power grid, economy all depend on computers. It is hard to name something that doesn't depend on computersand the Internet. That is why I think our gov't needs to have more control. An enemy could rake havoc and bring us to our knees without even firing a shot. I just hope it doesn't take a serious incident before we act. The Germans in world war II thought there enigma machine was safe and could not be broken.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Ideally, none. The last thing we need is the same federal regulators that were watching over BP and Wall Street to watch over the internet. Regulators have been asleep at the wheel for years, why should we give them more authority when they can't even regulate what they're responsible now effectively?

    June 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  37. Craig in Illinois

    No Jack!
    If they do it'd because they want to brainwash americans more with their tricks.
    If the government wants to take over anything let them take over BP's american assets to pay for their mess in the Gulf. Then we can have a welfare oil program for the military.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  38. Jim in Alabama

    jack, everything needs some type of oversight. It seems that this technology has outdistanced our ability to regulate or control it and it has the potential to do great damage to t his nation and it's security as well as the welfare of users who are gullible to those who would do them harm. I can't determine whether or not the government should be that arm of oversight and regulation, but clearly something has to be done.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  39. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    How about zero? Letting the government, with it's record of failure after failure, take control is beyond ludicrous. It would be criminal.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  40. Kevin of SD CA

    Tell the government to read what free speech truly means! The government should have no power over what happens on public access internet!
    The only thing government should be doing as far as the internet; is to protect itself from being hacked into, and to post all government accounting (local, state, federal) online in a read-only, real time format so that private sector citizens can see exactly who, what, and where their tax dollars going to!

    June 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  41. Steve

    There are so many laws recently enacted that are, constitutionally, questionable. Most of these laws are passed in the name of "national security". This scenario is exactly what our founding fathers tried to prevent when they formed the Constitution and its associated documents. The theft of personal rights is always taken on the behalf of "national security" – remember the Nazi regime. I am against giving the government any rights that fringe on those of the citizens. Then again, it may be a goal of some of our leaders, like Lieberman, for our country to be more China like and to raise the status of our leaders to the elite.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  42. Kyle Irvine, CA

    This is easier said than done Jack, the federal government should be monitoring the internet to try to track suspected terrorists and whoever they are talking to while at the same time respecting the privacy of the American people.

    I don't think you can do both. As a citizen, I am willing to give up some of my privacy for a greater good if it will protect our country from Terrorism. At the same time I worry that the government will abuse their power in other ways.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  43. tom trapani, Quito, Ecuador

    Jack, it comes down to the quality of education. The lack of a good basic understanding of English and good writing skills as well as an understanding of logic makes this country vulnerable. The watering down of textbooks, fundamentalists fighting good science to be taught in our schools, the isolation of people who home school, lack of interaction from inordinate use of the internet by children among other things all contribute to an ignorant elecorate. Who'ad thunk we would elect a George Bush not once but twice and look at Sara Palin's running for President people seeking her endorsement and winning with it, by golly were are surely in a mess.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  44. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    If legislation against inciting hate crimes shuts up Beck and Limpbough, then curtailing our First Amendment rights will have been worth it.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  45. Greg in PA

    Al Gore invented it, how unsafe could it be?

    June 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  46. Kenneth

    In a perfect worl, with a perfect government, it would be acceptable for the government to have certain controls over the internet to protect the country and its computer and internet related assets. This, however is not a perfect government, not a perfect world. For the government to have control over the internet, which is not owned by any one person or company, would mean that the government of the United States would have power over who sees what, what is shown, and where it goes. This inevadably will lead to corupt controls and violation of constituational rights at some point. The longer one governmental group has total control over its country, the greater the risk of Tyranny. The internet must be maintained and controled by private citizens and business. To say the government has the answer to security concerns is the same as saying we, the people, are too incompitant to do it our selves.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  47. JayT

    Is all this hype necessary? If we have an attack its to late to shut down the internet backbone. If we THINK we are going to get a hit.. how long will the net be shut down? We are supposed to have 2 backbones NOW so put the companies, military, hospitals on the OTHER backbone and let the civilians backbone alone.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  48. bud rupert

    In today's world with threats of terrorist attacks coming from every angle including the internet, the power grid, businesses, bank accounts etc. it does not bother me one iota how much the government watches and listens in. I'd reather be safe then sorry.

    For those who yell – We are losing our freedom! Shut up! Grab another cold one, hug your rifle and bible and relax.

    All-in-all the feds do a pretty damn good job.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  49. chris

    well they already have too much power over the internet we need govt out of our lives i think if you did a poll that a majority would be more afraid of our govt going into our lives more than the terrorist harming us i feel that way no more control of the internet from oversized govt powers

    June 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  50. Stephen from Florida

    Extremely limited.They cannot stifle free speech in any way. The Constitution still applies in cyberspace as it does in real life. And the FCC will have no luck whatsoever, can't legislate morality or what people watch online.
    Its not China, the US internet does not have a Great Fire Wall like China.
    I believe in civil liberties and its an example of the government trying to stifle the liberty, a human right in fact, to free speech.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  51. Tom in Abilene,Tx.

    The government (I hope) is already actively trying to stay a step ahead of cyber-terrorists who plot to shut down our power grid, telecommunications, national transportation ,etc. If we are talking about Internet "chats"-seems deceptively benign when put that way- I think we get into real problems with individual liberties, just as with parts of the Patriot Act. I honestly wonder how much freedom Americans might be willing to give up to keep us safe. It is one slippery slope.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  52. honest john in vermont

    Don't give them enough power to crash the internet.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  53. honest john in vermont

    If they can't control the Mexican Border, how can they control the internet???

    June 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  54. Pete from Georgia

    The greatest fear the federal government has with the internet is how quickly and thoroughly truthful news of government deception and corruption travels freely among all citizens. The No. 1 enemy of our government is, and always will be, the TRUTH.
    The government should have ZERO control or power over the internet. If ever there was an example of............"give them an inch and they;ll take a mile", it's here.
    Hands off !!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  55. Stephen from Texas

    If the hackers are good enough to get pass all the firewalls that the govt has...then its a mute point, because then they would be good enough to bypass the plug. It's amazing what some hackers can do.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  56. Cy Gardner

    It would be great if the government could protect consumers from greedy companies. But, when the Republicans are in power the government never does that. They would probably use the power to punish people who want to tell the truth when they want to lie. Like Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. I don't trust my government when it is being run by Exxon or BP or Big Pharma or GE or Time Warner. Government can protect or it can bully. I haven't seen much protecting during this century. cy from arlington, va

    June 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Arizona immigration law sb1070 is under close scrutiny by the president because it mirrors federal law that has or is not being enforced by white house czars.

    So if Burak Obama finds it necessary to shut down the internet across the entire country for fear of criminal behavior, than people should not be racist (Or disagree with him.)

    June 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Rob in Brooklyn

    they should have none. If they do someone should come up with an alternative. They can have the internet and we can all go to something better

    June 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Phil in Port St Lucie, Florida

    Jack, the United States doesn't want to "lag behind" other forward thinking countries...such as Iran, and allow it's citizens to have free access to the rest of the world, I say "Stay the Course!"....eeerrrrrr, I'm confused!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Don

    What a slippery slop this is Jack. We definitely do not want the bad guys using this wonderful tool to recruit more of their perverted, hateful kind. We also do not want government to have control to the extent that we the people loose freedom of expression....exactly what I and others are doing at this moment.

    The government appears to launch these initiatives with noble intentions which fade or become destructive and too controlling over time. That "big brother" kind of thing. How much control....that will take some lengthy discussions from a variety of think tank groups, scholars and mostly from the people themselves.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  61. frank

    Keep it up and keep it running. Our hackers can beat their hackers hands down. Piss our hackers off, they may do something really nasty to your system.

    Joe Lieberman is an idiot.

    Before ANY senator votes on a law on the internet, he needs to blog. We need to know who he is. He doesn't do that, he can't vote. No staff, him.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Cheryl, Florida

    absolutely none. the internet is the most powerful form of communication the world has ever known. It opens the country and the world to everyone. It allows the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. no one is going to agree with everything on the net, but everyone should be able to communicate with it. The best way to fight corruption and tyranny is with the freedom of expression and ideas, and the net allows that.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Steve

    If the government is worried about their websites, then by all means let the president shut them down as he chooses. I really doubt that terrorists are capable of damaging our banking system or any other system as Mr. Lieberman suggests. The greatest threat to our systems would be having some fool politician in direct control of them. Come on! What is the difference in a foreign terrorist shutting our systems down and having a terroristic politician shutting the system down – DOWN IS DOWN.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  64. Lucas Workman Columbus, OH

    Zero power that's what. This government has taken enough of our rights. (i.e. Patriot Act) This government gets in a sadder and sadder state by the minute. Europe sounds better and better everyday!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  65. Chuck

    How much power should government have over free speech?? The same power that government has the power to insure free speech and freedom of the press. Because without Net Neutrality, we will have neither on the internet.

    A better question would be, Jack, how much power should the corporations have over the internet? How much power should they have in deciding what you can or cannot access? And how much power should they have in charging you a fee for accessing data that they do not favor?

    Those who do not support Net Neutrality do *NOT* support freedom. Keep the internet free from corporate takeover. In fact, keep this country free from the corporate takeover. I want my country back. I want my country back from the creeps who have hoodwinked and riled up the kooks in the Tea Party. And I want the freedom to access whatever I please on the internet with no interference with the Corporatocracy !

    June 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  66. Gigi Oregon

    The Internet has gotten to big to control. And government only causes mind games with each other.. While we the people watch the circus on cable news.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  67. Willda Ritter, Lakewood, CO

    None. It's too big and they have enough to do keeping up with their lies.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Will

    As a former cyber-security expert, I feel an internet kill switch located in each metro area would be an effective plan in times of national emergencies that directly threaten our economic and defensive posture. I retired from the field after many years of trying to educate personnel and companies on the importance of securing all data. I came to the realization that people in our country do not take supposed threats seriously enough. B.O.A. was massively cyber-attacked a number of years ago and had to shunt their operations around the country making them more vulnerable. There will come a time when this actually happens and these institutions will lose more data as they have in the past. People just have to remember all the times that personal data has been stolen, that was either left out on a laptop or because someone forgot to lock their terminal. That is the simple, 1990's way to get data, now they are 100 time more experienced and have better tech to back them up. Nigeria has massive data centers that are hidden (illegal) that are solely devoted to hacking economic and personal data warehouses. This is what we are trying to protect ourselves from. If certain groups from around the world were to ever band together companies like B.O.A. would not be able to fend them off.

    Thank You
    Will Schmitt
    United States Navy Retired

    June 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  69. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Jack, the Feds already are able to monitor our e-mail, yank our phone conversations out of thin air, are obsessed with controlling our health care and now they want to control the internet? Is their ONE aspect of our lives they are not obsessed with controlling? How about the government getting therapy their "control" issues?

    June 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  70. David Gerstenfeld

    Cyberterrorism againist the United States is at a very dangerous level according to a segment on 60 minutes. Our most secured sites are under attack from many of our enemies & friends(?) & we're far behind in countermeasures. Banks, power grids, Wall Street are not as secure as they should be. So yes, we need control of the internet in case of ..... But like everything the Government does, they discuss, argue, & agree AFTER a dissaster.

    David, Las Vegas

    June 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  71. Gene Lucas

    The government should have the ability to shut down the Internet instantly in the event of a cyber attack. Think what would happen if
    cyber-terrorists should shut off the electric grid across the country.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  72. Harold in Anchorage

    As much as it needs to protect the citizens;after all, the internet is just another form of communications, like radio or telephone,which it already contols to a degree.
    Without some security, communications would be chaos

    June 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  73. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    Honestly,Congress is struggling with the bailouts, SEC, MMS Border Patrol,INS and the Nationalized Banks /Auto Industry. They should leave the internet alone

    June 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  74. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    The government will probably want to tax it, if they are anything like the city council here in Jacksonville where they tax everything but the sunshine, believe it or not they tax rain water runoff here

    June 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  75. Ed from MD

    In communist China the government has absolute power over the internet and can shut down any dissent it wants to. Here in America, in the words of George Bush "this would be so much easier if this was a dictatorship". Now Obama can try to hope and change in that direction but we can tell him to F-off on the internet, if he reads it. So that's a good thing right?

    June 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  76. Jason Shimer

    This is obviously about control because the banking and other cyber security risks can be operate and secured on separate systems. There is no need for a blanket control over all US internet . The need for the patriotic act to be included as some of the requirement of government control brings up other areas of concern. This is the wrong bill for cyber-security and needs a complete overhaul. You don't have to read all 197 pages as I did to know this bill is extremely premature and is not supporting our constitution.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  77. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The Government should have sufficient involvement of the Internet to ascertain security threats; address security threats; eliminate security threats to the American people. The Internet moves our US Borders within the homes of every American citizen with a computer.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  78. james in norrth carolina

    Jack, they should have no more power than they do over CNN and other media. The free flow of information over the internet is no more damaging than government press releases. I would rather see the government concentrate on getting a handle on immigration before taking on even more tasks that will never get completed. The government would have more people staffed to monitor the internet than there are users on the internet. Shame on Al Gore for invented the internet in the first place. What was he thinking?

    June 21, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  79. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Everything has "Unintended qonsequences" Jack and the "Liar" party....er...I mean the GOP of course will read something totally non-existant into it. I believe we (our Government) should have the power to shut down the web in case of a cyber attack, or even without a mass threat to disconnect entirely from places like Nigeria......a constant source of scam attempts.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  80. Jack, Niceville

    The government gets to control the flow of information? Have you ever read "1984", Jack? No President, Democrat or Republican, should ever have that power.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  81. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I am sure there are a bunch of folks in China who think this all sounds like a great idea. The erosions of our freedom in America continue. It's not a quantum leap to think they will start regulating content that they consider "inciteful" or may encourage violence, but since the mainstream media has turned into the white house PR department, there is really no other avenue for free speech and holding our government accountable. We can never be 100% safe in this would without being slaves. Malik Hassan had far more red flags that people ignored than his internet correspondence. This is just another attempt of the government to control what the people see and hear. It's not totally Hugo Chavez, but it is down that road, along with the previous failed attempts, such as the "fishy email" incident or the Foxnews boycott.
    If you put all your security in the hands of one person or group, then you have no security at all.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  82. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    As little government control as possible!!! A free and open communications system is part of the American infrastructure. Freedom of speech and association should not be considered a threat which is why they are found in the First Amendment!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  83. Randy

    None. Is it really a surprise that joe "israel first" LIEberman is the senator putting forth this legislation just weeks after israels sloppy propaganda attempt regarding the flotilla incident failed miserably due to the internet and the blogosphere? Pathetic.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  84. Birddog in Mississippi

    The defense of the country is the main job of the government, and a cyber attack is potentially the greatest threat that we face. Such attacks can scramble the information for air traffic control, cripple our ability to launch missiles, and essentially shut down our banks and even our water systems. The bill in question would not unilaterally give the President the ability to 'shut-down' the Internet. It would give the President some powers under some conditions to do things like shutting down all incoming signals from certain countries or regions. And yes, the President should have such control.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  85. Steve - Ohio

    The government should only have power with regard to their own networks. I'm all for that -and only that. The FCC tighter controls are nothing more than, yet another, methodical attack on the 1st Amendment. Call if for what it is, a preparatory phase to go after alternative media. Refined censorship and thought policing. As far as a supposed kill switch is concerned, do you remember the bank holiday when they raided safety deposit boxes for all the gold coins? Well this would be an economic kill switch. Imagine the economic looting...sorry, I meant "corrections", when day traders and fund managers are locked out.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  86. Jeff in Minnesota

    There needs to be oversight of the organizations that create what is known as the Internet, but having a "kill switch" would be impossible to implement. The Internet was designed from the beginning to be a communications conduit that could survive a nuclear holocaust and could not be cut and now the government wants to do just that. We could uncouple the US from the rest of the world, but what does that do? It still allows terrorist traffic within the boundaries of the US. If this does not prove just how stupid our government is, nothing does.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  87. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    I think the government at this time should have the same power as they have over telephones to spy on conversations and they should have the power of emergency shut down if America is attacked again .

    June 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  88. Delia, Katy, TX

    The question should be how much power do we want to give cyber attackers? If the President doesn't have the ability to shut down the internet, are you willing to have this country's secrets, strategies, etc. available to terrorists?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  89. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The internet is a dangerous place. I can't tell you how many hard drives I've had to replace because some bug that got through my security suite. If it can be done to me during some innocent surfing, I know it can be done purposefully to sites far more secure and vital to national security than my system. I'm all for giving the government a stronger ability to scan the web and gather information. Crack down hard on those who would abuse the right of unfettered communication! I draw the line though when our government wants to be able to shut it down . That smacks of Iranian totalitarianism to me, and although I'm concerned, I am also convinced that there are better ways to counter these threats than by infringing upon my freedom of speech. Track down terrorists who use the internet, but don't stop them by shutting me out. Go knock on their door with police swat teams. Go after kiddy porn enthusiasts. Go after scam artists who cheat innocent people out of millions. Go after identity thieves. But leave my rights alone! As a true aside, during the reign of George W. Bush, the government was kind enough to inform me that they bugged my system once because I too frequently used words like "middle east" in writing commentaries to you good folk at CNN, so I know what our government is capable of doing if it sets its sights to it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  90. Annie, Atlanta

    None, at all. I can see it now. Government controls internet, GOP regains Congress, handing internet control to their corporate masters, who in turn sell it back to us, and the next thing you know it costs a fortune just to come here and spout off. Just ask Joe “Bob” Barton how it works.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  91. Dee in Woodstock GA

    If I thought the government could exercise some REASONABLE control, I would be all for it. For example, if the government would shut down all the porn sites, and be able to spy on child molesters and abusers in a way to stop such things, yes I would be 100% agreeable.

    Also, if I thought some agency, like NSA, could actually find and arrest terrorists by spying on them, I'm OK with that.

    HOWEVE, I place no reliance whatever on the government being reasonable, or keeping their snoopy noses out of private contacts or business contacts that are not criminal in nature.

    And of course, if there were more government regulation the ISPs would have to hire more people and that would increase the cost! I would NOT be OK with that.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  92. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN)

    Very little. In times of local or national emergency, the internet will be the main method of communication. Giving ANYONE an "internet kill switch" is the worst thing that can be done. This kind of thing really sounds like something that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would be pushing. But then given that it's Joe Lieberman who is sponsoring the bill, I guess it probably is.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  93. Nancy, Tennessee

    The internet has made assisting workers with their computer applications from miles away a reality. It saves on costly trips onsite for installation, training, and on-going support. Companies were slow to latch onto this cost saving capability through the internet. If being able to support a company via the internet becomes a hit or miss situation because the government can shut down the internet on a whim, then companies will not be able to depend on this type of support. Bad idea!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  94. R

    How much power should the government have when it comes to the internet? REALLY!!! To be honest Jack, the internet has been left to it's own devices.I've seen some scary, crazy things on it and no one seems to care. I guess if 10 people say it's ok to post this or that then it is socially acceptable . Everyone can scream about liberties and freedoms all they want but I do believe something does need to be done on monitoring what is on the net. There are a lot of crazy people out there and it scares me to think that making a bomb is just a click away.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  95. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, had this been George W. Bush proposing a government "kill switch" on the Internet, the impeachment proceedings would be well under way. We do not need "Big Brother" having anything to do with the Internet. While it is true that there is some content out there that is offensive, it is not up to the government to decide what to do with that content. The individual should take the responsibility for themselves as to what they find when surfing the Internet. The only reason that there is to put in a "kill switch" is to deal with dissenting opinion in the only way they can, rather than counter with their own arguments.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    If the government takes absolute control of the internet (if not already) then all gore should be at the "top kill" switch, after all he invented the internet !

    June 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  97. Steve - Ohio

    Who are they trying to be? Master-Blaster? Embargo ON !

    June 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  98. mark in Houston

    Jack....The out cry coming from those who use freedom of speech as an excuse to abuse the senses of most of us will be sounding off louder than those horns at the World Cup.

    We live in an age of fast changing and advancing threats to this country. If shutting down the net.....serves a justified purpose in any one of those situations then, go for it..

    However, I cant think of too many people in elected office that I would trust with that control. Our government has proven to be made up of bungling, politically entrenched, self serving dunderheads.
    So, bottom line.... and probably regretting it later I say......give em control if the US is under immediate, proven threat, beyond that....stay away.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Chaney, La.

    I have mixed emotions about this. Is it an over reach by Government on our freedoms,? or is it a just ameans to protect us in case of cyber attack? I guess if you are aparanoid sort then you would be in an uproar about it, I am not so I am okay with it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  100. Paul, Canada

    The Internet was not designed with security in mind, or with the foresight that critical national infrastructure would be accessible on it. Until we smarten up in terms of security, its like having your front door open all the time, so it would be prudent for the government to have that control, so long as there is a credible, imminent threat...however you determine that.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  101. Wm in TX

    Jack,

    1. Our government is corporation owned. (Note today's supreme Court decision.

    2.Giving government control of the internet gives corporations just what they want most: to charge high rates and favor their corporate friends and provide slow expensive service to the people.

    3. Government of the people by the people for the people is a lost dream. We citizens could take it back but we have been propagandized in a coma of hate and anger.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  102. michaeljwjr

    They should have none. Giving the government the power to kill the internet would be like giving them the power to shut off the sun or the oxygen we breathe. With as important and part of our daily lives the internet has become, shutting down the internet for even moments would have rippling effects through all levels of society/

    June 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  103. Chris from Bartlett

    What terrifies me more than an Internet terror attack? Joe Lieberman having anything to say or do about what I do in my own home. Lieberman in charge of anything is downright terrifying. Did we just ridicule China & Pakistan for controlling people's freedoms online? Is that where "Joey" is taking us? HELP!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  104. Toni

    Yes, the Government should have the power to keep us safe from Cyber Space attacks.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Kathy

    A "kill switch" is totally dangerous regarding freedom of speech. The internet gives us all access to the outside world immediately. Open, outside communication keeps nations and governments somewhat honest. Our media is already compromised with biased accounts of stories, our history books are being rewritten by conservative, short sighted idiots and now we are going to allow a politician the right to control our internet. What crisis could be so bad to shut down our access to news and communication? I am reminded of the movie "The Postman" with the rebuilding of the nation being rebuilt through communication as simple as delivery of the mail. If there is concern of cyber terrorism, then fix that without shutting everything down completely...but we are not good at solving problems these days are we??? i.e. the gulf oil spill. Internet is essential now to free societies.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  106. Travis Kellar

    This is about as frightening as Bush's Patriot Act.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Gary

    None. Thank you very much.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  108. Chad from Los Angeles

    I have always been surprised how we can shut down the internet, but can't trace terrorist websites to their launch location. If it will allow the military to track down terrorist cells, I am for it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Zachary LaVigne

    a kill switch? are you kidding.. there has been threats to the internet since it was created.... The government should not control any part of the internet... if they do we will end up like china where the government only lets you see what they want you to see.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  110. mark gantt

    I don't want Obama to have control over anything he will mess it up like he has everything else.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  111. dolores sutton

    A "kill switch" – why don't we just call it the murder of freedom speech? Sounds similar to book burning, doesn't it? As for Lieberman, another thing that our wonderful state of CT needs to be ashamed of.
    Dolores
    CT

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  112. Jason L

    More, lots more. For better or worse the internet is now as important as the national power grid.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  113. Dan

    Absolutely none!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  114. Nick Tubbs

    None. It is the last free thing in this "free" country.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  115. Texan

    Not one damn bit. Too much governmernt now

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Jason

    Personally I believe that the government should have no control over the internet. It's like violating the first amendment. The internet is information and the largest network of free speech ever and the government wants to control it? Sounds like a bad scifi to me.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  117. Tristan

    The internet should be regarded as a dangerous tool with respect to terroritst training, so security should be of high concern.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Chase

    Jack, I'm a Democrat and not afraid of "Big Government." I think that the government has more authority than the average citizen gives it credit for, but I'm a fierce advocate of free-speech. No matter how inflammatory, no matter how egregious the speech is, the right to say it will forever be protected by the Constitution and the first amendment. President Obama, I have supported every measure you have proposed thus far in office, but if you try to censor my internet, you'll have lost my vote in 2012.

    -Chase, AZ

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  119. Jamie Gordon

    This is the easiest of answers: None.

    If the government wants to monitor potential terrorist organizations they should by all means use the information available to them within the limits of the law to do so.

    But the internet = press. Free speech. Freedom of the press. it's pretty basic Bill of Rights stuff. I can't believe this is even a question to be asked.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  120. Stacie

    There's a reason for that old saying, "Give an inch, take a mile." If we allow this reason for the FEDS to control our speech, then there is no limit to where or when it will end.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  121. Craig McIntosh

    Jack,

    The Internet should be setup similar to a Office network, where the United States is a Office network, where the President can hit the switch, which shuts off the rest of the incoming world traffic and the American Citizens can still use it.

    Craig
    Santa Clara, Ca

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  122. Toneh

    The government should be happy with the control they already have, limited though it is. If we allow further control over the free flow of information, what would prevent the subsequent installation of a "kill switch" on news media, for example?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  123. Alex

    The governments influence on the internet should only go so far as to insure that it remains an open and free medium. To break it down, government should insure "net neutrality" but should not control what can and can not be said.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  124. Carla B.

    If the Government controlled the Internet, then we would certainly never be able to respond to your questions.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  125. M.E. Freeman

    What is proposed is not too far removed from what we already have. Periodically the Government takes over my TV and/or Radio, creates a loud blaring sound and tells me "This is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System."

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  126. Mike

    None, Jack. Just say NO!

    This isn't a Democrat thing, or a Republican thing. It's a freedom thing. We need less government control in our lives, not more.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  127. Christian

    Oh hell no!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  128. Linda in Arizona

    They should have none. They should keep their long noses out of the internet, the last bastion of free speech left in the country and the world. Knowing LIEberman is the main sponsor of the bill ought to tell us something. Mr. Fear is at it again.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Brian

    Zip. Nada. Zilch. The internet is the apex of the free exchange of ideas around the world. The first amendment is a right we have. Not one the government gives us. Stay out of our internetz, bro!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Jake Dawsey

    I don't think that the government should have the power to completely kill the internet. That's too much unnecessary control and power over the freedom of the internet. On the other hand they should consider having a cyber police team that monitors foreign use in areas that may pose immediate danger to the U.S.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  131. Greg in Virginia

    The government should NOT be allowed to have as much control as is suggested by the report that the president would have a "kill switch" in times of war. The temptation is too great for abuse of such a control, including infringement of free speech and press. Instead of trying to control the whole internet, those rightfully fearful of cyber warfare should focus on enhancing security of vital sites (power companies, communications, military, etc...).
    To put this into another perspective... would you want the government to kill the phone system everytime a terrorist calls around for an attack?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Mike in VT

    I think government regulation is an outstanding idea! Let's take a look at how well it works out for China and Iran. It is becoming more and more difficult for government to guide our thinking, and tools like what is suggested will help stamp out "free thinking hippies." Hopefully our failed foreign policies and laughable immigration laws will lead to an attack that the pres. can rally behind to push through some patriotic reforms.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  133. hatterlsey

    no kill switch is needed.......smaller govt is needed.... we are loosing our priveligles and rights from right under our nose. wake up america.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  134. Morten Solum

    Jack, Joe Lieberman and his committee believes Internet is "owned" by USA. They are wrong.

    Also, the ICANN that amongst other issues rules who owns domain names is the proper international body for governing Internet.

    Apart from that, no one owns any rights over Internet. I think that is a good thing.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  135. Dylan Kelcher

    The United States government does not own the Internet. This arrogance is astounding. Thank goodness Sen. Lieberman did not become Vice Pres. Lieberman.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  136. Brianna B.

    No matter what Obama does, people are going to complain. If we have a major terrorist attack against Americans & it hits us through the internet & the government hasn't made the "power switch" yet, then you know damn good and well that everyone is going to be throwing a fit b/c the government couldn't do anything. People these days need to look at the big picture instead of being quick to slam someone for what is honestly something that is looking out for themselves!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  137. mista raja

    The gov should have enough control to stop the internet from becoming a destructive tool. If you can bootleg music and movies and almost destroy these industries with no consequence or communicate with terrorist its to much freedom.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  138. Megan from Florida

    The World Wide-Web is designed for the open exchange of knowledge, ideas, etc. The Government should have NO power to "turn-it-off" at all.

    It would be much better if voters could have a "Kill-Switch" over elected officials who sit on there ass and collect money from oil industries and who don't give a damn about people they supposidly represent!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  139. J.K. Frazier

    I'd trust the government - by the way, that's ultimately us folks - to use the power judiciously since we still have the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment. Well, actually, I'd trust the current administration, which seems to understand the rule of law, unlike its predecessor.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  140. Keith - NB, Canada

    I think government oversight should extend as far as needed to protect consumer interests and prevent companies from taking advantage of smaller markets where competition is nill.

    But I don't want it to go so far that Google pulls out of Canada too!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  141. ed in ri

    None Jack!
    They already have Bush's Patriot Acts I & II. They know that the only real stories about their criminal activities are available on the internet.
    Not, the mega media, owned and operated by only a few very rich elites, that use the media to secure their ideologies by social engineering.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  142. W Rhodes

    This is a dangerous (to our rights and privacy) idea, but not surprising since the government has been working overtime at reducing our rights.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  143. Gerry

    No government control at all. Give the government control of the web and they will abuse it. It is one of the few places where healthy dissent can take place. Let the government get there hands on that no way why is Joe the trader still in Washington?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  144. concernedvoter

    I think the Government already has enough control over the internet,if you see people doing something they shouldnt ,lock them up.None of this big brother stuff!!.Plus Prez Obama needs to stop taking idiot ideas from the Republicans and Democrats,and stay focus on the Gulf Coast.This internet stuff is just a ploy to draw attention away from regulating these big companies that are taking advantage of the American People. Jobs and the Guld Coast comes first. Homelnd Security should just do their job and stop the scare tactics

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  145. David in Raleigh, NC

    The government should have zero control of the internet.

    This is a free speech issue.

    When the government has control of the internet they will use the control to stop views opposing the President.

    The United States will be no better than China with the great Internet Firewall.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  146. Kevan

    The government should have as much control over the internet as they have over the Mexican border. If I wanted to be ruled like this id move to N.Korea. Get real Obama do something for the American people and quit worrying about hurting bad guys feelings. Well see you in the unemployment line after the next election.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  147. Pablo Sanchez

    The Government is spread too thin now, so much that the ifrastructure is colapsing. Want to clean up this country's act? FOLLOW THE MONEY!

    Pab

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  148. Scott Swain

    If the president had an internet "Kill Switch" and something unforeseen were to happen on it. Would he not treat it like deep water drilling and shut it off to study how to prevent future problems?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  149. Adrian

    Jack....none! If indeed somebody will "kill switch" the Internet, and something will happen, how will 90% of us communicate? Or maybe there are more than one Internet? Perhaps a 2nd version....didn't a president not so long ago called it "The Internets"

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  150. Larry Ruenes

    Government control of the Internet, then television, newspapers, phone systems, mail..... sounds like something a dictator would love to be able to do. The Internet is the greatest tool for the advancement of free speech ever created. Maybe Lieberman should be working on term limitations for congress instead!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  151. Craig Anderson

    I think the President needs to fill other key positions like say MMS! Also who would he put in this position that would ultimately "kill" the free press that our country holds as a Constitutional Right? Lets clean up more important messes before we ever think about taking on something so complex!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  152. Ken in NC

    The government should be able to control access to the Internet in an emergency on anything that is connected or related to National Security, Infastructure, Banking Industry, Wall Street, Military and Sarah Palin's email address.

    We have to protect her too. She is a National figure and Jack would be crushed if her email was ever hacked.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  153. Mihir Pankaj

    The government should not have any power over the internet. This would be a very bad idea, because individuals have so many private things going on online, such as e-mails. If the internet was turned over to the government at a time of crisis, would we really be able to trust the government? What separates someone who has the ability to hack into the internet, and a government leader being handed the key to the net? If we have so many controversies in politics and government as it is, we shouldn't even think about handing over the internet to the government.

    Best,
    Mihir Pankaj

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  154. Mary

    After the 60 minutes show on how the entire electric grid could be shut down by terrorists not to mention the banks being "robbed" via internet, I think some control should be given to the president/government. We depend on it for so much and this country could be crippled by it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  155. Rick in san antonio

    The internet is a global entity. Repeatedly the us was asked to relinquish part control to reduce the risk of terrorists taking it out in one swoop. A single kill switch is simply a bad idea.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  156. WAYNE

    Please give me a break!!!! How much more control does this government want?? Isn't there enough controls on us now??? I thought this was the U.S. where are all our freedoms going??
    Everything is blamed on TERRORISM"
    Washington has nothing to worry about except what privlidge to take from us next, or what tax can they put on us next.
    It's time to clean Washington up from all it's corruption.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  157. LS in Rochelle, IL

    Doesn't the government already have too much power?
    They should get the off my back, out of my pockets and leave me the hell alone!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  158. Jacques

    None.

    The Internet does not belong to any one country, nor does any one country have jurisdiction over it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  159. Newton

    Come on Jack. The government already has control of the internet and everything else they want. Who are we kidding.

    -Newton.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  160. bill

    More efforts by the government to control everything one thing at at a time. You hear about some things they are taking over but many you don't hear about and then there is the media by snubbing some and not others. Doesn't China control the internet? Didn't Iran shut down the internet? I better be careful of what I say here. Lets see, how can they blame the need to do so on Bush?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  161. susi learn

    the government should not be able to seize control of the internet. too many of our freedoms are already being eroded away all in the name of 'national security'.

    the internet may play a part in terrorism; if it were not available, they would just find another way to communicate, be inspired, etc. it would not stop terrorism.

    although, if the internet WERE shut down, perhaps more housework would get done, more time would be spent with families, more workers would actually work and all the porn sites would go out of business.

    susi
    tucson

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Tabula.R in Clearwater

    A lot of right wing thinking here. Do you really think that the government should have absolutely zero control over the internet? So no regulations on child pornography? How about terror cells using the internet for planning attacks?
    The government has already regulated radio and tv to death and that scares people I understand, but there needs to be some protection against illegal content. Oversight but no censorship.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Ed

    Government control over the Internet is colossal violation of 1st Amendment rights. The Internet is the pre-eminent technology that gave regular people the ability to choose what they want to learn, with free will by "surfing the net". If the government is allowed to have total control over our ability to read and learn what we want as individuals, next they will shutdown any site they deem "unfit". Stop our officials from EVER being able to control one of our last bastions of free will!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  164. Lex

    A "kill switch" to shut down the internet? I agree the internet needs better security, but just shutting it down once would open the door for the president to do it again. Also, how long is he able to keep it down? Shutting down the internet in this day and age is extremely dangerous. How is information the world needs to hear going to spread at the rate it does now if the internet is taken down. Pakistan censored facebook and youtube for the whole country. If we do this, we are no better.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  165. Jeff Carter

    A "kill switch" is unacceptable. So many persons and businesses depend on the internet for many facets of their particular industries. Simple things such as phone service, sending an xray, and employee time cards that are dependent on being ONLINE. Further, won't this bill allow censorship, when as we can see by past administrations, we can 'declare war' for a host of reasons. The President shouldn't be the person in control. I don't vote for a person or persons to represent me in government to set my morality...my parents did that. If there were to be regulations, it should be by Congress...the Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch....have we so soon forgot about "W"?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  166. Jeremy D from Traverse City, Michigan

    Frankly Jack, this type of thing scares me. I don't have a problem with the government locking down sites outside the united states, but I absolutely do have a problem with the government doing anything to restrict my freedom on the internet. It's one thing to limit something before it get's to be a regular thing, but to take away freedom is another thing entirely. I enjoy being able to voice my opinions, view information in anonymity, all in private. If the government ever decided to lock down the internet, there would be riots and revolution from both parties. Our freedom is sacred and the government has no business controlling what US citizens say and do on the internet (with the exception of child pornography – which majority can agree, should be stamped out).

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  167. jerry

    As little as possible. The issue of cyber-attacks needs to be the responsibility of those entities and at the expense of the general public.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Edwin Smith

    The government should have no control over the internet at all. As a medium of communication which can be from person to person or from one to many it is protected by the 1st amendment to the constitution.
    No longer should mass communication be controlled by the few corporations and governments but should be the medium for all people to say what they will without fear of censorship.

    So-called cyberwarfare is dangerous only insofar as governments control the internet such as the situation in China. The internet regards censorship as a blockage and routes around it. Criminals are able to only disrupt the internet in small areas for short periods.

    Edwin

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  169. gary

    Jack – its the land of the free, not the free if we think it should be. There should be a kill switch on every politician, and I'd gladly pay any amount to shut off Lieberman and many others – Gary in Miami

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  170. Barbara from Los Angeles

    NONE!!! I pay for my own computers, my own internet cable, and I am still of sound mind, so I think I can successfully determine when to shut down my own internet, in times of crisis. Besides, I have all Apple equipment, and since Apple seems to be doing far better at protecting its users than PC companies, I think Apple and I can make our own decisions. Tell Senator Lieberman to STAY OUT OF MY INTERNET and worry more about his own loyalties.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The internet is a dangerous place. I can't tell you how many hard drives I've had to replace because some bug that got through my security suite. If it can be done to me during some innocent surfing, I know it can be done purposefully to sites far more secure and vital to national security than my system. I'm all for giving the government a stronger ability to scan the web and gather information. Crack down hard on those who would abuse the right of unfettered communication! I draw the line though when our government wants to be able to shut it down . That smacks of Iranian totalitarianism to me, and although I'm concerned, I am also convinced that there are better ways to counter these threats than by infringing upon my freedom of speech. Track down terrorists who use the internet, but don't stop them by shutting me out. Go knock on their door with police swat teams. Go after kiddy porn enthusiasts. Go after scam artists who cheat innocent people out of millions. Go after identity thieves. But leave my rights alone

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  172. Nick of Fairfax

    This supposed super hero power that someone could rule the internet with a force such as this is rather humorous. If somebody wants to give the president a super power, why not give him the ability to give the government some common sense for a change so things get done right not to mention in a reasonable amount of time.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Margaret

    The government has no business controlling
    the internet and needs to stay away from it. They
    are so incompetent, they could not catch a terrorist
    if he walked in and and gave them his name and
    address. This is one more step closer to government
    controlling every aspect of our lives.
    Ohio

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Michael Philip

    KILL SWITCH PROPOSAL
    Jack, the internet represents freedom and the government means control. What US citizens need is a kill switch on Washington government when it acts against the People's interests.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  175. chris brown fl

    watching a show last night on another net work apparently a lot less than they already have its scary probably shouldn't be answering this question

    June 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  176. A.

    The government should have zero/no control over the internet. They have been lying to the american people for decades are lying now. Leiberman needs to be removed from any and all political positions.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  177. Paul Charron

    none at all, this is the last truly democratic frontier that the people can go to as we have seen in some world crisis, this is the great equalizer in a autocratic environment and should only be under the control of the people of this world.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  178. Jonathan

    While such a 'switch' may be possible to disconnect the United States, it would be impractical and would affect more than the United States. This would put into the hands of the president the ability to control other country's internet as well whose internet is routed through US backbones. While U.S. companies may not be able to sue for loss of business, would foreign companies have that ability.

    Also, this is an attitude that screams of cold war mentality on how to deal with threats. What is needed are new ideas and new solutions to deal with threats that affect us. This not only includes terrorism, but also 'wire fraud', child pornography and other illegal activities.

    This needs to be a global solution, not a U.S. Solution (or any other country for that matter) imposed on the world.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Russ Jackman

    The government should have no control over the "internet" ... go after and punish the illegal actions of people using the internet, but don't get in the way of law-abiding citizens and businesses by introducing yet more restrictions and regulation.

    Proposals like the "kill switch" demonstrate either ignorance about how the internet operates, or arrogance over Congress' influence outside of the US. The internet is global, and if the President decides to shut down all internet traffic in the US, America's enemies overseas will still be able to communicate and collaborate online while American media, researchers, and the public are left sitting in the virtual dark.

    (Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada)

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Sam in PA

    I can't stress this enough: The government needs to be able to enforce Net Neutrality. That's it. Anything that borders on control of the content of the internet is too far. The great thing about the internet, as opposed to other mediums, is you can say and do anything you want. Censorship is null, and that's perfect.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Gary

    The Feds should ONLY be able to control Government & Military access points, but should NOT interfere with Civilian sites as that
    would be restrait of trade & cause significant losses for financial markets.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Neil

    I really think the government should only have control over the webspace that it has the rights to have control over. If I make a website, post personal information and pictures and host it on my server, the "government" should not be able to deny me, you, or anyone else access to it.

    From my cold, dead, hands.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Kyle

    The government should have just enough power to turn off their own internet in case of an emergency.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  184. Jen in Nevada

    The United States of America was not founded by cowards but is systematically being ruined, bit by bit by the fearful. This is what President Kennedy meant by "The only thing to fear is fear itself."

    June 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  185. art

    The government should be allowed to exercise powers which rival their war powers when overseeing the "dial-up internet service providers." Do you know how long it took for your website to load up on my dial-up connection? A ghastly long amount of time. Outlaw dial-up, and legislate the IP's to provide high-speed service to everyone. Fair is fair.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  186. Al George

    'Bout time for some rational restraint. The Founders always distinguished between liberty and license, and often wrote of "ordered liberty." Justice Jackson understood well the limits of liberty with his famous remark that "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

    June 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  187. Max

    After 9/11, the government shut down both all civilian air travel and the stock market, and in so doing saved America from unimaginable consequences. With America and the world so increasingly dependent on the internet for communication, the potential damage from a large-scale cyber-attack on America is now unimaginable. The president needs power to "kill" the internet in such an event, provided of course that Congress can "revive" the internet if the president is slow in doing so.

    Fort Thomas, KY

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  188. Shacreva

    We do not believe the government should have any control over the internet whatsoever; No regulation, No taxes, No redesignation as a utility, nothing at all.

    No Government Control of the Internet, period!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  189. Chris

    The government needs enough control to keep greedy businesses from arbitrarily selecting what data one is allowed to download and that's it.
    The wonderful thing about the internet is that (ideally) it's open and free.
    Many in this country are complaining about the level of control in our daily lives while completely ignoring the fact that corporations seldom do what's right for the people, often causing a great deal of harm to our way of life for that extra dollar. Anyone who thinks Net Neutrality is a bad idea needs to spend some time educating themselves on the issue.

    Chris
    Hudson Falls, NY

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  190. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    The concern for me is that there seems to be limitations being placed on all forms of communications these days. The TV communications was limited to only cable access now ... there is no ability to pick up signals with antenae now. The radio communications is being controlled by big business & limitations on range of communications allowed ... Katrina is the best example of how emergencies were NOT being handled as all BIG corporation stations were out of service & one small operation able to transmit information for victims of the storm, and the FCC would not expand the range of transmission even in the event of an emergency. That was the only source of emergency information. Now they want to limit internet access ... pretty convenient for population control, huh?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  191. Robert, Detroit Michigan

    Free use of a free Internet is a 1st Amendment right.
    Freedoms of speech, expression, assembly and Press.
    All first Amendment.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  192. Patricia Wallis

    I feel that our security comes first. I do believe that the internet
    needs some control. Making bombs has no business being on the
    internet so let the government control these kind of issues.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  193. George from Las Vegas

    First of all, the government can't legally "turn off" the Internet, its protected under the 1st Amendment. Secondly, if they did shut down major servers, you would have a backlash like you've never seen before. People would be in the streets protesting like they did in the 1960's. Perhaps we should get out of the Middle East, and let them determine their own lives. We have enough on are plates as it is. Turning off the Internet will not stop terrorism!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  194. David jr from ny

    I believe the government has there hands in enough when it comes to different aspects of our lives. They cannot handle what is on there plate already. how can they possibly handle one more thing, especailly something that is so vast and spread over a wide ranging area of the world. it will be the government gateway to your home and the world without any restrictions or private business to stand in their way. No way does the white house need that fringe benefit. Anymore rights we need to give up. i thought we were free.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  195. Kevin

    The internet provides people of the world an opportunity to research and view multiple opinions and facts. It is widely known that not one resource provides the best answer to a given question. Giving the government the ability to pull the plug on the internet could possibly lead to the cover up or skewing of the facts that could give the people information to take the needed course of action especially in emergency situations. The government should monitor the net for terrorist activities but shouldn't restrict information from the American public.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  196. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, this is a very touchy question. How much control is too much? The government needs to be able to close vital systems down from the internet, however, they don't need to be involved in protecting my home computer from the net, that is my responsibility. I know that government agencies already have in place, overrides that will disconnect local systems from internet in times of crisis. I have witnessed the issues that result from a military base being disconnected from the internet and it isn't pretty. Disconnecting a nation has to be worse! They really need to think about this, and the Congress doesn't think about anything. We are NOT China, let's talk to security and communications experts before we do something stupid.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  197. Weldon from Canada

    I believe the government shold have absolute control over the internet.. We sit and monitor the pedophiles in North America which is a great thing, and they should also be able to monitor the control with the internet when it comes to security. The only difference is the fact that they are dealing with bigger and older children.

    I think security is of the uttmost importence and should be treated as such.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  198. Alex

    This is a very general question about two very distinct issues. A main point of concern is the continued ignorance of our elected leaders when it comes to the internet and technology policy in general. re: " A series of tubes". Their refusal to learn about this essential part of our modern society demonstrates the problem with continuously reelecting the same old inept Senators and Representatives year after year. To give the President the power to shut down the internet is to give him the power to sent the entire nation into the dark ages, as every sector of our society absolutely relies upon the internet daily. Shutting down the internet shuts down local governments, businesses, and would be the worst restriction on freedom of speech in the entirety of human history. However, the proposed FCC rules on net neutrality are absolutely needed because big industry has shown time and time again that they do not have the best interests of the public at heart. The internet is too important to society to leave in the hands of one man or even a small group of corporations who's ultimate goal is to profit from Americans, and not to protect the free flow of information to which we are entitled.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  199. Tyler

    The governement should only have control over internet servers that are directly related to federal organisations. Other than that, the governement has no right meddling in the affairs of private businesses that have not broken any current law. Boundaries need to exist for all groups business and governmental alike, they must act against each other as balancers. As of the moment both sides seem fine so to upset this with a power grab which is all additional regulation will do is a waste of time and tax funds.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  200. Brian

    Absolutely none. The government has shown what it can with our wonderfull PATRIOT Act over regular telecommunications, why allow them any controll over the last bastion of free speech.
    Next thing you know, sites that display anything condenscending to the government would be the first to go down.

    Brian
    Plymouth, MA

    June 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  201. Bob in NC

    Jack – if it were a practical matter, I'd ascribe to the old saying – "the more you try to control – they less control you actually have" With about 20% of America trusting the government these days and their stellar track record of late affirming the mis-trust – Uncle Sam should leave it alone. If they were just trying to protect us – it'd be one thing. The threat to our freedoms associated with limits on information and controls on content may be interpreted like many sections of the constitution that the current administration and congress have ignored.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  202. Anna Avery

    None. The internet is a world wide thing, it doesn't belong to them. If we wanted the government to have more control over the internet, we would've started some kind of campain long ago.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  203. Diane - MO

    The government should never have the power to hand over control of the internet and the world wide web to "one man"; in this case, the President of the United States of America. The internet is a communication system for freedom of speech and a knowledge base throughout the world. Just the idea to turn over this type of control to one person sends shivers down my spine. The world should never have this type of dictatorship by one person. Other countries are talking about this, also, and are stunned that the "land of freedom" would even suggest doing such a thing...including me!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  204. Bob Spads

    IMO, the government should have complete and total control over the internet. At least the government would have control over something.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  205. Ryan

    What are we talking about here? The Internet in it's entirety or are we talking about more of a restriction of access to the Internet by US citizens?

    I'm not entirely sure that it is possible for the US Government to shut down the entire Internet, but if it were, that would certainly be a selfish thing to do. Considering that the United States is not the only country in the world.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  206. Becker

    Do you like what has happened in the last 18months. Unemployment and our economy our in the tank. I don't think we need to give any more power to an incompetent Presidnet.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  207. Robb

    Absolutely none Jack, this is nothing less than a direct attack on freedom of speech. Whats next? Restricting freedom of the press? Burning books ?
    I believe this is just an excuse for the government to try to further control
    access to information. What is this? Germany in the 1930's .

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  208. Jack

    Even if our government was near competent I still would not want them to have any more control over anything than the do now...which is too much. This Congress with support of the Administration and regardless of party is the beyond incompetent.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  209. Dustin

    I am absolutely astounded that there are people here that want the government to control the internet. I have never been able to understand the notion of letting the government control anything concerning our private matters unless you are un-American! Americans believe in free speech and it is protected! If you don't believe in free speech, whether you agree with what is being said, leave and go to another country.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  210. Sherry

    I grew up on a farm, and it was always fun to see my grandfather throw a handful of corn to the chickens, then he would throw another handful in another spot. The chickens would race from one pile to the other, thinking each new pile was better than the last! This analogy fits perfectly with our current administration and it's use of government to make things "better," running around from one "problem" to another wiithout making any of the problems better! We have some "control freaks" in Congress and one in the Oval Office. The government should stay OUT of free speech in America; rather! "Loose lips" will always sink ships.......and adding more government control is NOT the answer.......you can't make people loyal or patriotic by limiting what they say! Taking our freedoms away is NOT the way to guarantee safety, either. I'm amazed that this administration and its congress does not know even the BASICS of human behavior!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  211. Greg

    I would like to see some sort of rating system like the movies have so that parents can better control what their children have access to.

    There should be no governement control whatsoever over any companies or content though.

    Greg

    Atlanta, GA

    June 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  212. ScipioRising

    The internet scares the hell out of politicians and the leftest media. The internet represents the free flow of ideas and these 2 groups cannot stand that people do not get all of their information from their propaganda machine. Why do you think repressive governments the world over try to suppress their citizens rights to access open discussions.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  213. Robert

    Looks like the King is realizing it's harder to keep the truth from servants with the internet being free speech to the max.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  214. Just Wondering

    Tyrant or Patriot defined in many instance's as nothing more than those who are in control!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  215. Scott - Minneapolis, MN

    As alarming as something like the "kill switch" sounds, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be a legitimate contigency option in a time of crisis. In a time of crisis, the president has the power to use nuclear weapons to strike anywhere he deems necessary, deploy military troops, suspend air travel, shut down the borders, order an assassination of anyone deemed an threat to national security, and apparently suspend civil liberties (Gitmo) all in the name of national security. This "kill switch" is proposed to be an option that is on the table for the same reason that the government probably has specific attack plans for countries that the U.S. would never go to war with in a million years: because you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting the citizens. I'm a pretty big civil libertarian, and I still wouldn't mind this being an option... just so long as the government doesn't become Big Brother.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  216. Geri

    I agree that some regulation of the internet may be good. But the idea of the government being able to shut the internet down completely makes me wonder, "what is the government really up to?" Probably total anarchy when the government goes broke entirely and they stop paying social security and medicare benefits. Sudden decisions like these make me highly suspicious of the government's real motives.

    Geri, Mead, OK

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  217. John

    Their maybe instances, for *short* periods of time where isolating the US to fight off a cyber attack makes sense, but that said, I don't believe the government should have much control if any over the internet. As previous posters have stated, they may have good intentions and valid reasons for wanting this power but those will lead to eventual abuse. We're not Iran or China after all nor should we strive to be.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  218. Steve - Ohio

    It wasn't ok for the founding fathers to use a kill switch and stop the news or freedom of speech back then, and its not ok now.
    Besides Jack, how would we be able to tell you , our comments, and for your your show?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  219. Georgia for Change

    It's time for the President to effect the Change that was promised. This kill-switch would be totally antithetical to the 2008 platform. For all our sakes, I hope this is only rhetoric or a diversion from the oil spill. I can't help but think this is a backwards ploy to end Net Neutrality and reap a profit for our Corporate investors in China, Britain and Dubai. We should not trade our Freedom for Security; less we become captives in our own country.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  220. Ray Tippen

    What next block google too???

    Atlanta Ga.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  221. Mark

    History has proven that if you give Government control over something that control will be exercised, if we allow a "kill switch" how soon before it gets used? Do you really want the Government to have total control over your best source of news and information? Like they have in North Korea, China and soon in Iran? To me that is a terrifying prospect.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  222. Phillip C.

    If the president gets a kill switch for the internet, I'm leaving this country.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  223. A.B.

    In the interest of national security, the federal governent should have some control over the internet , but not at the expense of civil rights and personal privacy of American citizens. An uneasy balance between the two interests should exist and be maintained. The way to do this is to put some limitations on both competing interests.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  224. Jo

    Can you say 'NONE'?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  225. Padame

    So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  226. Bill Austin

    Not under THIS president! He has more power now than the constitution or God intended.

    Bill
    Orlando

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  227. Edmond Major

    Say NO to giving power to the .gov to control the internet. Complete SHAM!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  228. Jason Camps

    Has the federal government considered that shutting down our access to the internet or creating an environment of censorship and limited free speech might be just what a terrorist is after?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  229. Colin

    We really need another agency to oversee the internet! I'm sure it would regulate just as well as the agency that overlooked BP in the Gulf, or maybe the one that overlooked the housing and financial industries! And how about our southern border?! Yep, our Feds certainly need more control!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  230. Robert, Detroit Michigan

    Ask not what your country can do for you........
    But ask what is my Country doing to US.
    Wake up America!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  231. Steve - Ohio

    It wasn't ok for the founding fathers to use a kill switch and stop the news or freedom of speech back then, and its not ok now.
    Besides Jack, how would we honestly be able to tell you (FCC Censored) when you ask a question for your (FCC Censored) show?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  232. Elias

    While companies charge for use of the internet, no one person controls it. This idea is something Iran did back during their election riots; is this a route we really want to go down? No way should the government have regulations over internet.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  233. Jen in Nevada

    Sensitive government files should never be on a network connected to the internet ever.

    There is way too much business interests online. How would the political parties get their donations? What would the odd regulator do all day without porn? The "Kill Switch" is just one more fear tactic to scare the public with.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  234. Dennis north Carolina

    Enough power to keep us save from the evil in this world.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  235. Ed Murray Douglassville, PA

    Ever heard of freedom of speech? Our government seems more concerned about limiting our Bill of Rights than performing their essential obligation to enforcing them. This is just another example on how broad the disconnection is between Washington and their constituents.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  236. Jack Trade

    Our government wants to control the flow of information with this bill, just like Communist China (Lieberman's role model).

    If the "Kill Switch" Bill, sponsored by Joe Lieberman, is suppose to help protect America from terrorist, then which bill is suppose to protect America from politicians like Joe Lieberman. This Lieberman bill is in itself a terrorist attack on our Constitution.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  237. Wes C. from Little Rock, AR

    The FCC did not take steps towards regulation... those were actually deregulatory measures in order to further secure the idea of net neutrality. I see no benefit whatsoever of having a switch to kill internet access. Such a measure could even potentially cripple security as it could harm communication between the US government and civilians during a crisis.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  238. William Gorlitz

    About as much power as they already have over all telecommunications.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  239. Harry Mellon

    The President and especially Joe Leiberman have no business having total control over what information we receive. The fourth estate has already been gutted enough and since we can no longer trust politicians we cannot let them have this power. They are afraid that the public is awakening and want to stop it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  240. Jon

    What happened to free speech? I'm reading a lot of comments here that seem to think "security" is more important than our freedoms. That's wrong. Giving the government more control doesn't increase our security, it decreases our freedom. No one should be able to shut down or censor the internet.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  241. ArizonaYankee

    The government should have NO power over the internet period.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  242. blr

    As our greedy govt doesn't own the internet, nor do they pay my access to the internet – they should keep our corrupt president's hands OFF the internet. This administration is into enough censoring as it is.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  243. Robert, Detroit Michigan

    Wake up America!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  244. Mare

    Wait one gol darn nanosecond...we the people can have all the Internet porn and infotainment we want, but if we go to war, the Internet will be turned off?

    Getting real news in a timely manner is tough enough now. Experts claim that responsible journalism in America is dying. CNN, NYT, and the BBC are the exceptions. We access the world's opinions and knowledge through the Net. And we want to give the US president the right to turn those off when our country's leadership smells (or creates) crises? Whaddaryoukiddinme?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  245. db

    The false reasons that the government gives to take down the internet are stupid. OK, Take the internet down, are you going to take cell phones down too, land lines down, how about teletype while your at it. This country runs on the information highway. Now if the government is trying to regulate it, we have to ask why. Well, for one thing they can keep better track of the trouble makers (congress), and look at ways to impose taxes on your use of the internet. Why not just throw out the Constitution all together, it sure seems that Obama and Napolhead want to violate every other ammendment to the Constitution, but then again without a Constitution and Bill of Rights what is American but another 3rd world Marxist run government that is looking more and more like a dictatorship. What do we give up after our rights to free speach, our rights to bare arms, our rights to be citizens of the USA!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  246. Ed from Upstate NY

    By design,there is no one node on the Internet that can act as a kill switch. If there is a justifiable reason for the President to shutdown the Internet he should have that ability.

    The FCC is only trying to prevent the cable, telephone and entertainment companies from turning the Internet into their own personal profit machines. Without the FCC maintaining an even playing field the open characteristics of the 'Net would be lost. Those companies will demand a fee for their "better" class of service.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  247. Jim Blevins

    I am much more concerned with big business having unrestricted control over the internet. Having the FCC control big business will keep companies like Comcast from making the internet good for them and bad for everyone else. At least in theory, the government works for us - big business works only for their shareholders.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  248. Frank

    The only control for the internet should be the off switch on my computer. Times like these makes me glad I'm a libertarian.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  249. curious steve, boston, ma

    absolutely not

    as long as the "government" serves the tiny parasitic elite group that enslaves the people.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  250. Kamau

    Oh great! Lets have the entire internet have a central kill switch. Then, little "Johnny-with-too-much-time-on-his-hands" hacking it.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  251. walt

    Get the government out of our private lives.
    Do you want them to start "Monitoring" the news and your phone conversations?

    Those that refuse to defend their liberty will neither have it nor deserve it!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  252. Eric j. Bitterman

    To paraphrase Charlton Heston: "You can pry the Internet out of my cold dead hands". Try and regulate and the extremely intelligent people who hack systems, will find holes and exploit them.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  253. lynnej in nc

    Each time something happens, people whine 'that there should be some sort of regulations in place." When it doesn't happen and it is the Wild, Wild West like it is now, no one wants their free speech violated.

    But I tell you, given all of the disasters of late, there isn't any anything that shouldn't have some sort of regulation.

    As for the internet in general, the genie is out of the bottle.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  254. Brendan Nebraska

    The Government should have no control over the internet. I believe in a way it's violating our rights.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  255. Sandra

    The government is supposed to be protecting us. So, idealistically, yes.

    But, there appears to be a lot of corruption in the government now. We don't seem to be getting very high quality information to make decisions with...perhaps sacrificing our kids and money for "interests" that we may not agree with.

    One of the reasons this country did well is because it had built in protections against corruption. But, there's so much money involved in multinationals and globalization now, that those appear to be ineffective. Time to re-evaluate all of this.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  256. JT in Phelan

    The government should have zero control over the internet, but should monitor websites and/or individuals that have shown an active preference for or history of violence towards Americans. This is no different than what they would do when a sect or fringe group shows a potential for hurting others. Also, a warrant should be required before monitoring begins, to decrease the chances that the government will monitor people for simple dissent. I'm hesitant to say this, because everyone has seen how politicians warp meanings–an "enemy combatant" may some day be a person who refuses to pay their taxes if we go to war, e.g.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  257. Justin G.

    Good deal – lets be China – I guess since we were moving towards socialism, we needed to move towards communism to help balance everything out. You can't shut down the internet – it's a mean of free speech.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  258. Ryan

    I can see this being a very bad situation. Big brother is already watching us to much. Also with the internet being pretty much being the means of all our communication, can you imagine if the government shut it down. I dont have cable tv and the internet is all i have right now. I would have to call someone or run to my neighbors just to see if the internet was shut down. And would my service on my BB be halted as well since it has internet. Im sure that would through the OS for a loop and probably kill the whole phone.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  259. curious steve, boston, ma

    we the people will turn the kill switch off on the current DC establishement, come november.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  260. Jen in Nevada

    This all probably has to do with WikiLeaks. Some people would rather shut down the internet than allow video of US war activities/crimes to be exposed.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  261. Rick

    This isn't China.
    The government doesn't "own" the internet, so it has not authority to "kill it".
    The FCC has no authority to shut it down, only regulate the playing field for internet providers, all of which are PRIVATE companies.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  262. Brian

    What happens if there's a war and any enemies within U.S. cities can easily update their side with live information as to when and where to bomb and hit.
    If you don't want the governement to have the ability to halt the internet in such extreme circumstances, then at the very least everyone that agrees must be willing to accept the fact that a lot of you are going to die due to that very fact.

    No use blaming the government, when it's hands were tied by it's own people in the name of freedom.

    .

    June 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  263. db

    Here is an insane thought, what gives the United States Government the right to examine our mail, email, or internet usage while not at war? Homeland Security, what a joke that is. Tell me what good it has been to have millions of air travelers take off their shoes at the airport, as well as subject themselves to unreasonable search and confisgation of personal items HS deems dangerous for flight. Hasn't anyone ever told them a pen, pencil, rolled up newspaper, brief case, a pair of high heeled shoes,, some jewelery that has pins, hair combs, and hundreds of other objects that can kill if properly handled. The whole TSA thing is a joke, just more governement in action to cost us more and more.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  264. Kimberly Wooster

    The government has no need for a kill switch. Each American citizen has their own and is free to use it whenever they choose. I'm starting to feel like I fell asleep and woke up in the Soviet Union!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  265. Sen. Right

    The Government Should have no power of the internet except in national security matters

    1) cyber attacks that are serious not just pranks by little kids in there homes while there parents are away skiing in the alps

    Government should have zero power of it as well, with the 21st century the internet is the ultimare freedom of speech forum as well as best way to practice all of our rights as americans right to pettion for one. What better way to put together protest than on facebook, twitter, myspace, and etc...

    GOV stay out and clean up the oil

    June 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  266. Al

    The government should be able to keep corporate monsters like Comcast from controlling the internet for their big money buddies and leaving us in the dust. That is government for the people.

    As for any other control, there should be ZERO because that would be government against the people.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm |