Despite all the problems facing the U.S. right now, DC has decided to set it sights on the internet. It is attacking users' freedom and liberty on the internet in a variety of ways using whatever excuses it can come up with.
First of all we have the return of the dreaded CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) that has already passed the House and in the next few days will be up for a vote in the Senate. Thanks to heavy pressure from users and internet companies CISPA and its evil House brother SOPA were shot down before the 2012 election. However, as we all know, you can't keep a bad bill down, despite the more than 400 sites that " went black" in protest — as reported by Mother Jones.
"This bill undermines the privacy of millions of internet users," Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in a press release.
The taxman will come for your internet freedom as well. The White House and many governors are keen to allow states to tax the internet. They have even come up with a misnomer of a name for the bill; "The Marketplace Fairness Act," which is nothing of the sort according to critics. In addition, to the stupidity of raising taxes in an economic downturn and raising costs for those living in rural areas it is unfair to online business.
"Mr. Enzi's Marketplace Fairness Act discriminates against internet-based businesses by imposing burdens that it does not apply to brick-and-mortar companies. For the first time, online merchants would be forced to collect sales taxes for all of America's estimated 9,600 state and local taxing authorities,” added Reitman.
And finally, we have bleating from DC about internet gun sales despite the fact there little evidence of the weapons or ammo being used in any crimes. The New York Times found a felon messing around on one site who didn't buy anything but has written a long screed against the sites. They have a problem with the anonymity of the listings on the site yet they had no problem tracking down the guy they sought. The hysteria about online sites is another facet of the gun control being pushed by the likes of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) others despite their repeated ignorance on the subject of guns and their purchase.
Both CISPA and limiting sites like Armslist are being touted as moves to protect our "security" from threats both local and international. Of course, we are not told how this will protect us but that is the line that is being used by the proponents.
In short, the internet is under attack from people who hate it for its anonymity and free nature. They seek to control it by any means necessary, whether its regulation, taxation, meddling or snooping. Unfortunately, we cannot depend on our politicians of any ilk to defend the rights of law-abiding American citizens on the internet. Their greed, ego and ignorance will not allow them to stand up for the freest part of American life.