“The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions. Survivable, resilient, enduring, and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial, and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies, and other nations. Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience. […]
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall: […] satisfy priority communications requirements through the use of commercial, Government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate.”
Barack Obama’s Executive Order on “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,” which is being interpreted in the little news coverage it had received (see here and here) as giving the President permission to take over (assuming he does not simply wish to use the kill switch) all private websites if he deems a national emergency to be in progress.
Under the Executive Order the White House has also granted the Department [of Homeland Security] the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications. In 2011, Congress considered similar provisions in cybersecurity legislation, which would have allowed the government to disconnect communications traffic in times of national security. Following public protest, congress abandoned the proposal.
In other words, assuming I’m not grossly misinterpreting the allusion to 2011 internet legislation which did not pass thanks to mass online protests: You didn’t want SOPA and PIPA, so Obama just decided to do part of what those laws would have done through Executive Order instead.
Such a devotion to democracy that man has.
TL;DR: This is important. You don’t get a TL;DR. Go back and read it.