Obama Administration Plans to Seize Control of the Internet and Install a Kill Switch-Truth! and Fiction!

Obama Administration Plans to Seize Control of the Internet and Install a Kill Switch- Truth! and Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a warning alleging that the Obama Administration plans to install a “kill switch” in the Internet and could do so without an act from Congress.

The Truth:

The warning is real and came from Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel but casting blame on the Obama administration is inaccurate.

Staver  blamed the Obama administration for bypassing the constitutional process to enact regulations that have effected the World Wide Web in 2010 and his commentary alleges that the administration plans to take over control of the Internet and install a “Kill Switch” in the a similar manner. 

Legislation in the Senate was attempted in 2010 with the SB-3480, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, introduced by Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in June 2010. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  After some committee modifications,  limiting its power, the bill failed to pass in a Senate vote in December of that year. 

According to a January 24, 2010 article by CBS News, Lieberman, and Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, plan to introduce a revised version of the bill that “includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems ‘shall not be subject to judicial review.'”


Background on Net Neutrality

On December 21, 2010 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted “Net Neutrality” rules that was met with controversial criticism questioning the authority of the FCC to create and enforce such policies.  The FCC’s regulation created two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line or hard wired providers (such as DSL or Cable) and the other for the wireless Internet users. The commissioners voted 3 to 2, with the Republican commissioners loosing to two Democratic commissioners who supported the regulation.

According to a Washington Post February 28, 2010 article, House Speaker John Boehner addressed the issue while speaking at the National Association of Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and promised to fight against a government takeover of the Internet.

updated 02/28/2011