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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Keeping America online

There is an old adage about a frog put in a pot of cold water. If heat is applied to the pot, the water will gradually warm and boil.
But that silly frog will not jump out of the pot because it does not realize that what it took for normal water will soon become the mechanism for the frog’s death. America is that frog, and our elected officials are turning up the heat on the Internet.
Sen. Joe Lieberman has proposed a piece of legislation that would give the executive branch of the government unparalleled power over anyone relies on the Internet. The
“Internet Kill Switch” Act, or Senate Bill 773 would transfer all power of the Internet, to shut down some or all of it, to the executive branch in the event of a national crisis. It also requires companies deemed “critical” for national security to limit cyber-security employees to those who have passed government standards and credentials. Those companies would be required to participate in “mapping” and file-sharing conducted by the executive branch.
Among the mass criticism, legislation has drawn, a few points of contention that stand out among the rest. For one, the trigger for this legislation must be a national emergency, but what sort of emergency is not clearly defined. In theory, the executive branch could panic if an embarrassing presidential quote or video were leaked and temporarily shut down the Internet and Internet-based communication.
Another problem is legislation calls for the creation of yet another government agency, the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications. This agency would have more access to your personal information than the Internal Revenue Service. Its main objective would be to filter through all Internet service providers to find where the information can be contained, also known as a “choke point.” Also the center would be given the authority to rifle through personal and commercial accounts to see what sites individuals are visiting. This is the most blatant assault on the freedoms that the Bill of Rights guarantees since the inception of the Patriot Act in 2001.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this new legislation is it gives this power to one person in our government, the president, which defeats the purpose of having a three-part government with checks and balances. This new arm of the government extends past the normal surveillance and directly reaches to grasp at your computer, your phone and in reality, your very life.
These infringements on our rights are supposedly for our security, to protect us from what some might call a “cyber 9/11.” But since security is giving the executive branch the power to do what the cyber terrorists will do, take away our freedom, where is the logic in that? We fear other people that might have the power while we directly give that same power to the executive branch of our government. Which is the lesser evil?
It would seem, historically speaking, the government is more dangerous than these alleged cyber criminals. Millions of Native Americans as well as the Japanese Americans forced into internment camps can attest to the government’s lack of fidelity with power. I will skip the usual Ben Franklin quote about security for liberty, but I will quote Princess Padme Amidala in reference to Sen. Palpatine’s take over of the Republic through the passage of power expanding legislature, “So this is how democracy dies, with applause?”

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