Kill the Kill-Switch

A denial of internet and cell phone service, blanketing all law abiding citizens, all at once, is dangerous and un-American.

Standard Operating Procedure 303, of the National Communications System, has codified, quote:

“A shutdown and restoration process, for use by commercial and private wireless networks, during national crises.”

Meaning, no internet or cellphone service during a qualifying “national crisis”.

This “kill-switch” concept was first instituted March 9 2006, around the time real estate, of especially the subprime kind, was starting to come apart in Wall Street’s securitization factories, and a financial crisis of epic proportions was brewing. This was also around the time that Goldman Sachs decided to place bets that mortgages would fail en masse, nationwide. To quote what we wrote elsewhere on this site:

On April 14 2006, George W Bush’s appointed Josh Bolten, a one-time Director for Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs, as his White House Chief of Staff.  Next, Treasury Secretary John Snow got offered chairmanship at Cerberus, an investment adviser to the government, often accorded contracts to manage the bailout funds of the taxpayer.  On May 30 2006, Goldman Sachs’ CEO Hank Paulson formally accepted the vacated #1 post at Treasury.  On June 28, the Senate handily approved the nomination and, on the July 10, Paulson filled the position.

Think about that for a second. The White House hired the CEO of Goldman Sachs to take over the Treasury just around the time Goldman saw their housing bubble topping, then popping.

“If you look at recent history, there is a disturbance in the capital markets every four to eight years,” Paulson told Bush in July 2006. “I was convinced we were due for another disruption,” he also wrote in his Wall Street meltdown memoir ‘On The Brink’.

By the end of that July of 2006, Paulson was mentioning OTC derivatives as the fuse that could trigger a chain reaction to the detonation of a bomb with enough blast radius to impact not just Wall Street, and every sewer underneath, but Main Street as well. “My point was that we had gone eight years since the last serious problem in capital markets and that there’d been all of this innovation,” he remarked, sticking to Wall Street script that insisted Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction, i.e OTC derivatives, be referred to as “innovation.”

So convinced was Paulson that something bad was about to happen, that he next resurrected the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, a conglomerate of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the SEC and the CFTC, to deal with it. The last time that regulatory foursome had been put to use, was after Black Monday 1987.

How auspicious.

“We can’t predict when the next crisis will come. But we need to be prepared,” Paulson told Bush.

And, boy, did he prepare. By the time the crisis was in full swing in late 2008, Hank was telling members of Congress like Rep. Brad Sherman of California that there’d be Martial Law on the streets of America if the bailouts were not approved, pronto!

Obviously, in referring to “national crises”, the Department of Homeland Security is NOT talking about a widespread natural disaster, or a nuclear threat or event that is terror or war related — because, the ability to communicate is an absolute imperative if you or your loved ones are imperiled by mortal danger. The way we see it, SOP 303 was, at its core, designed to deal with the after-effects of Wall Street bailouts — the angry reaction of the masses, in particular — in the aftermath of a systemic banking meltdown (our logic for a catastrophic banking crisis, far more acute and destructive than the last, hitting in 2018/2019, can be found here, and here).

We’ve heard Standard Operating Procedure 303 being sold as a way to thwart or curb a Chinese government-sponsored or Russian government-sponsored cyber attack, but after finding (and poking) plenty of holes in that official sales pitch, we decided S.O.P. 303 wasn’t quite designed for that either.

Were this kill-switch turned on, it would be the end of factual information as we know it. Recall the 4th quarter of 2008, and the first half of 2009… While the mainstream media and the Congress and two administrations — Bush and Obama — portrayed the bailouts+handouts as necessary and good for the economy, independent internet sources, knowledgable in structured finance and the mechanisms of receivership and resolution, rapidly proved otherwise. While the mainstream media and the Congress and two administrations, Bush and Obama, portrayed the actors — Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, et al, as wise and noble public servants who had nothing but the best interests of the People at heart, independent internet sources credibly demonstrated otherwise.

Instead of:

  • dismembering the Too Big To Fail Mega Banks that collectively croaked in 2008,
  • or implementing upon them our amended “Fisher Proposal” (detailed here),
  • or re-instating Glass-Steagall,
  • or re-instituting some sort of impenetrable divider between speculative and commercial banking, transactional and relationship banking,
  • and ensuring customer deposits did not find their way into the casino, ever again,

what did gov’t officials in Washington DC and NYC do? — they intermarried several failed or failing financial institutions, and hand-delivered us the Way Too Big To Fail Super-Mega Banks that we have now to contend with.

The Mega Banks were effectively dead in 2008, and the Super-Mega Banks are verifiably Frankensteins now. As of this writing, they are either under-capitalized or non-capitalized, and cooking the books to look marginally capitalized, enough to meet or minimally exceed regulatory requirements, that are themselves  precariously low. (The book-cooking being done, to meet or minimally exceed, is also detailed here).

A government-sanctioned denial of all means of electronic communication, by way of S.O.P. 303, is an abridgment of our freedom of speech. By also inhibiting the right of demonstrators to assemble peaceably to protest (for example) another round of Wall Street bailouts — something that organizers would need phone and internet service to organize — S.O.P. 303 becomes an infringement of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. A government-sanctioned denial of information free-flow to the People, from sources independent of the government and its agents of propaganda in the media, ought to be a violation of a whole lot of our rights in what is supposed to be an open society.

Yet, on Jan 11 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Electronic Privacy Information Center its petition to have Homeland Security reveal details of S.O.P. 303 to the public. That should not have happened. The Supreme Court’s first and foremost function is to defend the Constitutional Rights of all Americans.

If the Court has abdicated this duty, then it is time for Congress and the President to act, to fill the void.

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