Internet Found Guilty of Promoting Terrorism

Internet Censorship  According to HR 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, the Internet is guilty of promoting terrorism, and is subject to sentencing by Congressional committee.

HR 1955 can be found in its entirety by clicking this link: HR 1955 text. While reading this bill, it occurred to me that one of the main thrusts of the bill, as indicated in the following excerpt, is to declare the Internet guilty of promoting terrorism, and to lay the foundation for sentencing. Please pay careful attention to numbers 2 and 3:

SEC. 899B. FINDINGS

The Congress finds the following:

1. The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

2. The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

3. The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

4. While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.

5. Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.

Let’s go through the relative portions of this bill, starting with items 2 and 3, listed above:

The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security. The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

The Internet is charged with promoting violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, which poses a threat to homeland security, and has been found guilty as charged.  

HR 1955 then goes on to determine sentencing by creating a commission that shall be “established within the legislative branch of the Government: the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism” (HR 1955 Section 899C(a)). This Commission is composed of 10 members, appointed for the life of the Commission. The Commission shall:

Not later than 18 months after the date on which the Commission first meets…submit to the President and Congress a final report of its findings and conclusions, legislative recommendations for immediate and long-term countermeasures to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and measures that can be taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence from developing and spreading within the United States…
(HR 1955 Section 899C(q)).

Section 899D of HR 1955 then creates “a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States (hereinafter referred to as ‘Center’)” (HR 1955 Section 899D (a)), to establish a method for carrying out the sentence recommended by the Commission.

The Center’s purpose shall be

…to study the social, criminal, political, psychological, and economic roots of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States and methods that can be utilized by Federal, State, local, and tribal homeland security officials to mitigate violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism (HR 1955 Section 899D (b)).

Section 899E internationalizes the efforts in section 899D:

(a) International Effort- The Secretary shall, in cooperation with the Department of State, the Attorney General, and other Federal Government entities, as appropriate, conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in their respective nations.

(b) Implementation- To the extent that methodologies are permissible under the Constitution, the Secretary shall use the results of the survey as an aid in developing, in consultation with the Attorney General, a national policy in the United States on addressing radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

The Congressional verdict is in. The Internet is guilty of facilitating terrorism, and poses a threat to homeland security. Congress acts as judge and jury, convicts the defendant of the crime of promoting terrorism, and the Internet now awaits sentencing by the Commission; the method of carrying out that sentence to be determined by the Center.

Here are the steps in chronological order:

1. Congress accuses the Internet of having facilitated, and continuing to facilitate violent radicalization, in direct violation of HR 1955 Section 899B(2), and reaches a verdict of guilty.

2. The National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism committee (Commission) (HR 1955 Section 899C(a)) is assigned to submit sentencing recommendations.

3. A university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States (Center) is given the task of determining the best method/s for carrying out the sentence recommended by the Commission.

4. Step 1, the verdict is in. Steps 2 and 3, sentencing recommendations, and method of dispensing sentencing are awaiting completion. When these steps are completed, the next step is to pronounce sentencing.

5. After the sentence is pronounced, the final step is to carry out the sentence recommended by the Commission, and implement it using the method/s arrived at by the ‘Center.’

Will the government take this to its logical conclusion and eliminate the Internet as we know it? I believe it will try. 

Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson 

2 Responses

  1. While I do not disagre with the spirit of the piece above, I think it makes a critical misidentification. Instead of “internet” the words “First Amendment” are more accurate.

    For instance, take this phrase from the ‘findings’: “The internet has aided in facilitating…”. But really, if the author of the bill was not doing her damndest to obscure what they really mean, it would read;…”The First Amendment has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

    Which of course was but one of the actual intents behind the First Amendment’s creation in the first place. All the founding fathers were considered terrorists in their time, and their propaganda was as injurous to the crown as any cannon or ship. The printing press was indeed a weapon to be wielded. No one understood this better than the founders, who were the ones who loosed that weapon upon the crown and had seen first hand its awsome effect it could lay upon the land. Yet, fully aware of how dangerous it was, they INSISTED that everyone have absolute and unfetterred access to possess their own printing press or publish their own misinformedand/or opinionated rag.

    But let us ignore all that ancient history for the moment. Right now, today,…is islamic fundametalism on the net a clear and present danger? Or is the clear and present danger (to government) that in the internet age they have less and less control over what we see and hear and read? Over what conclusions can be drawn? Over how the debate is phrased? There is so much less freedom today for government to obfuscate, to hide, to misdirect. I mean,…if you’re a government supremist, that internet thing is a pain in the ass!
    But while I get umpteen bazillion pop-up ads on my screen every month, seeking to somehow seperate me from my money and sell me prescription meds of questionable safety and expose my kids to porn,…I have yet to receive a single solicitation from any muslim extremist group asking me to call my Senator and end this infidel invasion, or so much as use harsh language.

    Yet, the enemy is so likely to hypnotize you or I with their beguiling mastery of IT voodoo, that this bill seeks to kill the most vibrant and envigorating evolution to democratic society and discourse since our founding?!?!?!

    Well excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse meeeeeeeeeeee!! I think I better use the First Amendment while it still exists to tell this wanna-be Napoleon who wrote this bill to gargle my gonads, you scummy spawn of succubus.

    Let’s see if those who currently wield the weapons of the 1st Amendment will do so, and properly put this putrid proposed poo to pasture. So wee who wield the weapons of the 2nd Amendment don’t have to.

  2. Hi Dean,

    It is the Internet, one of the last tools we have for spreading the truth, that this bill actually names as a ‘terrorism supporter.’ By attempting to shut the Internet down, Congress is trying to completely do away with our first amendment rights. They could not have said that ‘the first amendment has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens,’ so they did the next best thing.

    Barb

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