Texas Congressman Ron Paul points out that government seeking to control the flow of information across the internet is a threat to liberty. It is neither a Democrat nor Republican issue, nor is it a ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ issue. It is a decision between tyranny and freedom. This comes at a crucial time when Barack Obama is considering the use of an Executive Order to push through a massive new Cybersecurity initiative, drawn up by Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security. Congress rejected such legislation and for the President to seek to install it is unConstitutional since he does not have the power of legislation.
In Paul’s October 22 issue of “Texas Straight Talk” he wrote,
Until the late 1990s, individuals interested in Austrian economics, U.S. constitutional history, and libertarian philosophy had few sources of information. They had to spend hours scouring used book stores or the back pages of obscure libertarian periodicals to find the great works of Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, and other giants of liberty. Local library and university collections ignored libertarian politics and economics.
Today, however, the greatest classics of libertarian thought, libertarian philosophy, and libertarian economics are available instantly to anyone with internet access. Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever before for liberty activists to spread news and other information regarding the evils of government power and the benefits of freedom. For the first time in human history, supporters of liberty around the world can share information across borders quickly and cheaply. Without the filter of government censors, this information emboldens millions to question governments and promote liberty.
This is why liberty-minded Americans must do everything possible to oppose– and stop– government attempts to censor or limit the free flow of information online.
Paul then went on to give examples of what Americans need to be on the look out for so that they are not only informed but put the pressure on elected representatives to do the right thing.
One such attempt is known as “CISPA”, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This bill will create a monstrous coalition of big business and big government to rob Americans of their protections under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
CISPA permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight, provided they merely do so in the name of “cybersecurity.” But America is a constitutional republic, not a surveillance state– and the wildly overhyped need for security does not trump the Constitution.
“Cybersecurity” is the responsibility of companies that operate and make money in cyberspace, not taxpayers. Those companies should develop market-based private solutions to secure their networks, servers, cloud data centers, and user/customer information. The role of the US intelligence community is to protect the United States from military threats, not to provide corporate welfare to the private sector. Much like the TSA at the airport, CISPA would socialize security costs and remove market incentives for private firms to protect their own investments.
In the past four or five years the internet has been a great tool in the hands of liberty lovers, not only in America, but around the globe. It has been used to awaken many people to how the “system” works and how players in the system manipulate it to their advantage and to our own slavery. However, even for those still asleep, you have a stake in this as well. Government control of the internet affects your freedom just as much as it does the person you may opppose.
As Congressman Paul wrote, “We must resist voices from both the political right and left which alternatively seek to legislate morality or enforce political correctness with force. Copyright protection, pornography, cyberterrorism, gambling, and “hate speech” are merely excuses for doing what all governments have done throughout human history: increase their size, scope, and power.”
He concludes his comments with “Once we understand this, we understand the critical link between internet freedom and human freedom.”