- Note also - Ron Paul was one of only TWO Congressmen
who voted against this second enormous attack on internet freedom and
your rights in general.
- House OKs Draconian 'Illegal Images' Sweeps In WiFi Bill
- The House Vote was 409 to 2. Not one Democrat
opposed the ludicrously-named 'SAFE Act.' Two Republicans did: Rep.
Paul, the libertarian-leaning presidential candidate from Texas, and
Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia. The 'Congress' still refuses to read, honor
and obey the Constitution. -ed
- 'Homegrown Terror' Act An Attack On Internet
- By Rep. Ron Paul
- Before the US House of Representatives, December 5, 2007
- I regret that I was unavoidably out of town on October
23, 2007, when a vote was taken on HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization
& Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. Had I been able to vote, I would
have voted against this misguided and dangerous piece of legislation. This
legislation focuses the weight of the US government inward toward its own
citizens under the guise of protecting us against "violent radicalization."
- I would like to note that this legislation was brought
to the floor for a vote under suspension of regular order. These so-called
"suspension" bills are meant to be non-controversial, thereby
negating the need for the more complete and open debate allowed under regular
order. It is difficult for me to believe that none of my colleagues in
Congress view HR 1955, with its troubling civil liberties implications,
- There are many causes for concern in HR 1955. The legislation
specifically singles out the Internet for "facilitating violent radicalization,
ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process"
in the United States. Such language may well be the first step toward US
government regulation of what we are allowed to access on the Internet.
Are we, for our own good, to be subjected to the kind of governmental control
of the Internet that we see in unfree societies? This bill certainly sets
us on that course.
- This seems to be an unwise and dangerous solution in
search of a real problem. Previous acts of ideologically-motivated violence,
though rare, have been resolved successfully using law enforcement techniques,
existing laws against violence, and our court system. Even if there were
a surge of "violent radicalization" a claim for which there
is no evidence there is no reason to believe that our criminal justice
system is so flawed and weak as to be incapable of trying and punishing
those who perpetrate violent acts.
- This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy
to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem
of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be
another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee
its future existence and funding. But it may do so at great further expense
to our civil liberties. What disturbs me most about this legislation is
that it leaves the door wide open for the broadest definition of what constitutes
"radicalization." Could otherwise nonviolent anti-tax, antiwar,
or anti-abortion groups fall under the watchful eye of this new government
commission? Assurances otherwise in this legislation are unconvincing.
- In addition, this legislation will create a Department
of Homeland Security-established university-based body to further study
radicalization and to "contribute to the establishment of training,
written materials, information, analytical assistance and professional
resources to aid in combating violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism."
I wonder whether this is really a legitimate role for institutes of higher
learning in a free society.
- Legislation such as this demands heavy-handed governmental
action against American citizens where no crime has been committed. It
is yet another attack on our Constitutionally- protected civil liberties.
It is my sincere hope that we will reject such approaches to security,
which will fail at their stated goal at a great cost to our way of life.