Update (7/20/10; 9:48 EST): Fox News posts an article that includes all of the facts and skips the innuendo. Still has not responded, nor has it posted corrections to the original article that innacuratly represented the situation.
Yesterday, Fox News ran a story without a byline about the disappearance of over 70,000 blogs from the host site Bloggetery. The story has been “liked” on Facebook 235 times. In the story, the anonymous reporter writes:
Others wondered whether this was a step by the government to assert control over the Web. Just weeks ago, a plan giving the President emergency power to turn off the Internet was approved by the Senate.
It is unclear who exactly the “others” Fox News references are, and it appears that the writer used this reference in order to insert false suggestions that the government is making a power grab at controlling the Internet.
For evidence in support of the government takeover of the Internet argument, Fox News references a plan that allegedly gives the President the power to shut down the Internet. Fox News is referring to a bill introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman [I-CT] last month called the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010.”
Last month, this site concluded after an analysis of the bill’s text that “while Lieberman’s bill has shined the light on the issue if the government should have the ability to control the infrastructure [in the event of a cyberattack], it is not a government conspiracy to take control of the Internet that some appear to think it is.”
Setting whether or not the Lieberman bill gives the President the power “to kill” the Internet aside, Fox News bolsters its claim of the government takeover of the Internet by saying that the bill has been approved by the Senate. The bill, however, has not been approved by the Senate, and is currently in committee.
Fox News also omitted vital pieces of information relating to the story. One vital piece of information missing is the fact that certain information related to “hit lists” and instructions to build a bomb was requested by the FBI, but the disclosure of the information was entirely voluntary under 18 USC 2702. The FBI request did not cite the bill under consideration in the Senate.