Research Paper 2: Do you think it is a good idea for the President of the United States to have the authority to limit or shutdown internet traffic to and from any compromised federal government or U.S. critical infrastructure information system or network? Why or why not?
Yes and no. For the general public, I don’t think limiting the internet would be a wise idea. Our country was founded on freedom, and to infringe upon that would cause civil unrest. Frankly, the general public would assume that the government was up to something nefarious, even if they were trying to protect the American interest. ‘Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.’ – Benjamin Franklin.
However, to limit or monitor the internet in government buildings the way most corporations do, I see no problem with this. That would basically be the same as the IT security protocols that are enforced in corporate America. Our government secrets need to be guarded and protected at all costs. Therefore, any inter- or intranet that can access any government site or network should be monitored.
Many countries do limit the internet that their citizens can access. These are the same countries that we in our, public opinion, hold ourselves above because we are more ‘civilized’. Most of these countries are afraid of their citizens, it seems. The internet gives people the ability to connect with each other virtually instantaneously and with people that we may have not met otherwise. In a country that is on the verge of a civil war this could be very dangerous for the controlling power. The protesting peoples would be able to coordinate at a much faster rate. This ability is a double edge sword for those countries in this particular situation. If there is an uprising that is met with a too harsh resistance from the opposing party, those images and stories are near immediately updated onto the internet and spread like wild fire: Arab Spring, Ukraine, Venezuela for example. On the other hand, if they allow unfiltered access to the internet then they will be questioned. Either way the people will communicate with one another.
Now, if we’re talking about allowing the president the ability to shut down another counties internet. No, flat out NO. He doesn’t have that right to control another countries access to the internet, any more than he has any right to tell the leaders of said country how to control or rule their country. The president is not NATO, and as long as the leaders in question are not doing anything inhumane and unethical to their citizens we have no place in pressing our beliefs on them.
Now, let’s pretend for a moment that we never knew that our internet was being filtered, because it was filtered from the start. This would land us in a situation that the Chinese are in at this very moment. The Chinese government is upfront about their limited and filtered internet with the rest of the world. It’s very easy for them to limit the internet their public uses...