U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is warning Americans about the outside chance that President Joe Biden flexes his muscle and shuts down their access to the internet under an obscure 1930s-era law that provides him with authoritarian powers during national emergencies.
According to The Western Journal, Sen. Paul warned that the president has the ability under “emergency powers” to engage a “kill switch” that shuts down access to the internet. For months he has been working to dismantle the law which threatens the freedom of citizens everywhere on the whim of whomever serves as commander in chief.
“We’ve also looked at the emergency powers and emergency powers — you know the courts have said you don’t throw out the Constitution during emergencies — but a lot of our legislation acts as if you could throw things away,” the senator said on a recent podcast.
He added that the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic may provide the blueprint by which access to the internet could be limited under the guise of suppressing misinformation. The law was previously used to pause mortgage and rent payments nationwide.
“So when the CDC — and this actually happened some under the Trump administration — they decided that there was a CDC law for the 1930s that said you should do this and this for certain diseases, quarantine, and then it had a clause in there ‘and whatever else is necessary,’ the Trump Administration used that to say we didn’t have to pay our mortgages, and then the Biden administration continued that on.”
“But this is a power that in no way was ever given to the CDC no one ever anticipated the CDC would say you don’t have to pay your mortgage anymore pay your rent or pay your car payment that is crazy,” he exclaimed.
“We also have another series of emergency powers, some of them have been on there, we’ve had like some emergencies have been going on 50 years, they’re still on the books,” he said.
“There’s actually an emergency power that was given to the FCC in the 1930s that gives the president the power to shut down all communications and control all communications in the US.”
The incredulous senator continued, saying, “People call it the internet kill switch. It’s never been used, but and it predates the Internet, but people now think in applying it to the Internet that a president has the power to shut down the Internet. Nobody should have this.”
In 2020, a bipartisan group of congressmen introduced legislation to repeal the Communications Act’s Section 706, which states that the president may use a wartime designation to “suspend or amend, for such time as he may see fit, the rules and regulations applicable to any or all stations” which ostensibly includes internet transmission. The president may also “suspend or amend the rules and regulations applicable to any or all facilities or stations for wire communication within the jurisdiction of the United States.”
The Biden administration has previously been admonished by a federal judge for attempting to censor anti-vaccine information on social media platforms. After House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry into the president, the White House issued a memo to mainstream media news outlets encouraging them to report on “lies” made by GOP lawmakers probing Biden’s connection to lawbreaking business activities involving his son Hunter.