In case you haven’t read about this already, those of you in the U.S. may be interested to know that a new congressional bill to enable an Internet Kill Switch for the U.S. has been crafted by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Tom Carper (D-Delaware).
Yes, the bill is actually nicknamed, ‘Kill Switch’.
Apparently, rather than trusting businesses to continue and maintain their own cyber-security (which of course they already do today), evidently there are those in U.S. government who would rather maintain an internet shut-off switch which they say is needed to defend the economic infrastructure from a cyberterrorist attack.
Quoted in USA Today, “This is all about control, an attempt to control every aspect of our existence,” says Christopher Feudo, a cybersecurity expert who is chairman of SecurityFusion Solutions. “I consider it an attack on our personal right of free speech. Look what recently occurred in Egypt.”
The bill has free-speech advocates and privacy experts howling over the prospect of a government agency quelling the communication of hundreds of millions of people.
From usatoday.com, computer-security expert Ira Winkler, a staunch advocate of the legislation, counters, “The fact that people are complaining about this fact is grossly ignorant of the real world. The fact that critical infrastructure elements are even accessible to the Internet is the worst part to begin with.”
A 1934 federal law that created the Federal Communications Commission allows the president to “authorize the use or control” of communications outlets during moments of emergency of “public peril or disaster.” The Lieberman-led bill would be considered a specific extension of that and let the nation’s chief executive prioritize communications on the Internet.
A provision in the bill lets the president take limited control during an emergency and decide restrictions. “It, essentially, gives the president a loaded gun,” says CEO Michael Fertik, a lawyer with expertise in constitutional law and Internet privacy law.
Is this more ‘big brother’, or ‘big sis’ at work to control more U.S. liberties?
Is this more about information control and establishing hard interception points to filter-gather data as it flows among U.S. individuals and business?
Is the Internet a ‘national asset’ to be ‘nationalized’?
How would they determine who-what-where of the specific internet-provider connections where the Internet connects to infrastructure?
Do the U.S. legislatures and politicians have the technical savvy to employ such a technical bill?
Who defines, and what will be the definition of an ’emergency’, at which time the president can throw the switch?