You’re being ruled by idiots. They attempt to dictate policy on things they know nothing about. This is especially true when it comes to technology, which most of the rulers know next to nothing about. Ranking up there with Ted Stevens calling the Internet “a series of tubes,” we have a gem from Joe Barton:
Barton today asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler if the commission can shut down websites used by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Barton didn’t name any specific sites but said that “we need to do something” because of the terrorist attack in Paris.
“ISIS and the terrorist networks can’t beat us militarily, but they are really trying to use the Internet and all of the social media to try to intimidate and beat us psychologically,” Barton said. Addressing Wheeler during an FCC oversight hearing held by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Barton continued:
Isn’t there something we can do under existing law to shut those Internet sites down, and I know they pop up like weeds, but once they do pop up, shut them down and then turn those Internet addresses over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies to try to track them down? I would think that even in an open society, when there is a clear threat, they’ve declared war against us, our way of life, they’ve threatened to attack this very city our capital is in, that we could do something about the Internet and social media side of the equation.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) isn’t creating a bunch of random self-hosted websites. It’s using popular social media sites such as Twitter. What Barton is asking for is the shutdown of major social media sites. And while sites like Twitter are trying to shutdown accounts used by ISIS it’s not easy because, at the article I just linked to points out, ISIS is gaming the system.
If you want to recruit new members you go to where the people are. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites are where the people are so it’s what ISIS uses. The only way you can shutdown its Internet presence is to shutdown the Internet itself, which isn’t something the United States government can do because the Internet is a collection of interconnected servers spread throughout the world.