In last night’s Republican Presidential debate, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) actually was a topic. While I thought many of the questions sucked last night, kudos to Fox News for at least bringing up the NDAA which I’m sure the majority of Americans have never heard of before. If you didn’t know, the NDAA allows the military and the government to detain Americans who are suspected of being a terrorist.
While I’m very much anti-terrorist, I’m not anti-Constitution and this frankly scares the crap out of me. What happens when a future President changes the definition of terrorist? This is a terrible precedent. Like any legislation, it often starts off in a weak or mild form. Consider the income tax which was something like 5% only on a select few Americans. Of course many years later, its well above that and the income tax has become a bit of a monster. What’s to say the same thing doesn’t happen with the NDAA? Will it be expanded in the years ahead to fit a specific politician’s agenda?
On another note, the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is in the news today because tomorrow (Jan 18th) a number of websites are protesting this legislation. Wikipedia for instance is going dark for the entire day. The issue with the SOPA legislation is that it aims to penalize websites that link out to other websites that may have information or files that infringe on someone’s copyright. If you’re a regular internet user, you know how insane this is. Websites like Google, Facebook and Twitter would have to essentially shut down under such penalties.
I’m not in favor of piracy, but this is a ridiculous burden on internet companies which are pretty important to the business world and the information world.