It appears that Britain has taken the Obamanation idea of unelected “Czars” with powers to make laws to heart.
In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog article, Really dumb legislation — “cyberbullying prevention,” by Bob Barr, he reports:
Knee-jerk reactions by the Congress to particular problems have given us some really bad laws over the years. However, one of the worst examples of such reactive legislation to come down the pike in a long time, has to be something called the “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act,” introduced earlier this year by US Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.). Thankfully, the bill’s author has secured the support of less than a dozen co-sponsors, a fact that greatly diminishes the chances it will pass the House and eventually be signed into law. However, other really bad legislative proposals have snuck through both houses of Congress with little obvious supprt, and been signed into law by various presidents wanting to prove themselves as “tough on crime” as the legislators who voted for the proposals.
Unfortunately, the legislative vehicle Rep. Sanchez has devised to address the federal problem she has identified, would work great mischief on federal criminal prosecutions and on the Constitution of the United States.
With legislation such as S. 778 looming and Obama looking to sign international treaties on copyright that threatens all Internet blogs, Jay Rockefeller will be drooling as he looks at how this threat from across the pond turns out. Might even give him some new ideas.
BoingBoing reports the following:
A source close to the British Labour Government has just given me reliable information about the most radical copyright proposal I’ve ever seen.
Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is planning to introduce changes to the Digital Economy Bill now under debate in Parliament. These changes will give the Secretary of State (Mandelson — or his successor in the next government) the power to make “secondary legislation” (legislation that is passed without debate) to amend the provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988).
What that means is that an unelected official would have the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight or debate, provided it was done in the name of protecting copyright. Mandelson elaborates on this, giving three reasons for his proposal:
S. 773 This Act may be cited as the `Cybersecurity Act of 2009′.
S. 778 To establish, within the Executive Office of the President, the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor. The so-called “Computer Czar”