Skip to comments.Obama Internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate (Committee)
Posted on 06/26/2010 10:03:14 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.
Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet "kill switch." Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause "the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication" in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said in a breakdown of the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website.
The committee unanimously approved an amended version of the legislation by voice vote Thursday, a committee spokeswoman said. The bill next moves to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.
Obama security review gets mixed reception
The bill, introduced earlier this month, would establish a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with private US companies to create cybersecurity requirements for the electrical grid, telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure.
The bill also would allow the US president to take emergency actions to protect critical parts of the Internet, including ordering owners of critical infrastructure to implement emergency response plans, during a cyber-emergency. The president would need congressional approval to extend a national cyber-emergency beyond 120 days under an amendment to the legislation approved by the committee.
The legislation would give the US Department of Homeland Security authority that it does not now have to respond to cyber-attacks, Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, said earlier this month.
"Our responsibility for cyber defence goes well beyond the public sector because so much of cyberspace is owned and operated by the private sector," he said. "The Department of Homeland Security has actually shown that vulnerabilities in key private sector networks like utilities and communications could bring our economy down for a period of time if attacked or commandeered by a foreign power or cyber terrorists."
Other sponsors of the bill are Senators Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat.
One critic said Thursday that the bill will hurt the nation's security, not help it. Security products operate in a competitive market that works best without heavy government intervention, said Wayne Crews, vice president for policy and director of technology studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an anti-regulation think tank.
"Policymakers should reject such proposals to centralize cyber security risk management," Crews said in an e-mail. "The Internet that will evolve if government can resort to a 'kill switch' will be vastly different from, and inferior to, the safer one that will emerge otherwise."
Cybersecurity technologies and services thrive on competition, he added. "The unmistakable tenor of the cybersecurity discussion today is that of government steering while the market rows," he said. "To be sure, law enforcement has a crucial role in punishing intrusions on private networks and infrastructure. But government must coexist with, rather than crowd out, private sector security technologies."
On Wednesday, 24 privacy and civil liberties groups sent a letter raising concerns about the legislation to the sponsors. The bill gives the new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications "significant authority" over critical infrastructure, but doesn't define what critical infrastructure is covered, the letter said.
Without a definition of critical infrastructure there are concerns that "it includes elements of the Internet that Americans rely on every day to engage in free speech and to access information," said the letter, signed by the Center for Democracy and Technology, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups.
"Changes are needed to ensure that cybersecurity measures do not unnecessarily infringe on free speech, privacy, and other civil liberties interests," the letter added.
That is a very misleading headline by TechWorld.
The very first sentence explains that this has NOT been approved by the Senate but by a Senate committee.
Hopefully the pubbies will grow some cojones and stop this Marxist takeover.
Won't say my call on an open forum, but I will tell you that this bullshit is exactly why I got my license a few years ago. When the Government shuts down the internet and phone communications, all we'll have left are us ham radio guys that have been preparing for a scenario like this for years now.
Ironic that this bill would pass through this Senate Committee on Field Day.
Speaking of, I'm off to my field day location for the day. Starts in about 30 minutes, just enough time for me to get there...
"This is not a new world. It is simply an extension of what began in the old one. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements. Technological advances and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super-states that proceeded it, it has one iron rule: Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace."
“Changes are needed to ensure that cybersecurity measures do not unnecessarily infringe on free speech, privacy, and other civil liberties interests,” the letter added”
BUT, if it’s NECESSARY to infringe on free speech, privacy, and other civil liberties interests, ANYTHING GOES.
I dream for the days when public hangings for treason becomes common place, with fairness and legal authority of course.
As a U.S. citizen I do not live in the U.S., but was out in the streets against Noriega. Now it is your turn. But it will never happen because you are a bunch of chickens.
Where have you been against Obama but hiding under you beds. You have done nothing, nothing but complain and whine doing nothing.
Do you think the blue helmets are going to save your asses?
Thank you for giving my country away because of your lack of spine but are talented in whining.
I would really like to say “go to hell” to all of you spineless creeps, but Obama is doing it for me.
Absolutely not. I will never believe ANYTHING that filthy bastard ever has to say.
Wow, that was fast. I hit send and looked at the thread and it was there. *grin*
Wow. And here I thought I was working as hard as I can every day, by every means I can think of, to restore America’s principles and republican self-government. Who knew?
It was tried in effect. Bush and his AG wanted databases on all Internet activity. Remember that? Guess who was cheering it on? Only the Brain Numbed Loyal As Sheep Dogs Rockefeller GOP Bushbots in FR that's who.
Where is the ACLU??
( Conservatives Organizing to Defeat Obama in the next election cycle.Fascism on the rise.)
If they have their preferences, you betcha.
Helping wire the switch.
If we had any real journalists in this country the quesioned would be asked: “Why would you need to shut down communication during an attack? Wouldn’t just the opposite be better?”
One would think. At least for a free people.
Interesting that you had to get a license.
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