Skip to comments.Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
Posted on 11/13/2013 7:04:46 PM PST by markomalley
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must disclose its plans for a so-called Internet kill switch, a federal court ruled on Tuesday.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the agencys arguments that its protocols surrounding an Internet kill switch were exempt from public disclosure and ordered the agency to release the records in 30 days. However, the court left the door open for the agency to appeal the ruling.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is seeking Standard Operating Procedure 303, also known as the Internet kill switch from Homeland Security. The protocols govern shutting down wireless networks to prevent the remote detonation of bombs.
The broad government power to shut down communications networks worries civil libertarians. However, the agency argues the protocols must be kept secret to protect national interests and the safety of individuals.
EPIC filed a FOIA request for the protocols in July 2012. The Department of Homeland Security originally said it could not find any records on the kill switch.
After EPIC appealed, the agency located the protocol, but redacted nearly all of the information. The agency cited exemptions that allow the withholding of information that could disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions or could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.
The court said Homeland Security wrongly claimed that it could withhold Standard Operating Procedure 303 as a technique for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.
The court also found that interpreting a safety exemption to encompass possible harm to anyone anywhere in the United States within the blast radius of a hypothetical unexploded bomb also flies in the face of repeated Supreme Court direction to read FOIA exemptions narrowly.
While the court rejected the agencys broad interpretation of FOIA exemptions, it left the door open for further appeals by Homeland Security. The agency has 30 days to release the protocols to EPIC, but the court issued a 30-day additional stay on its opinion to allow the agency time to appeal.
Sponsoring FReepers are contributing
$10 Each time a New Monthly Donor signs up!
Get more bang for your FR buck!
Click Here To Sign Up Now!
And there isn't any push to do distributed DNS in the underground... is there?
And seriously... Protocol 303? Watch spy movies much?
Here is smuggled picture of the secret device
What has that got to do with the internet ? Isn't that more to do with cell phone towers? The only thing I can see is if the explosive is connected to a compute itself. Even then, it would not be the wireless network you shut down. Is that even possible ? I can see jamming the signals, but "shutting" down a wireless network ?
The excuse they use is they are protecting us fro “terroists” who can activate bombs thru the internet but what they really want to do is keep us from communicating with each other when they start thier ball rolling
Hey, the gummint knows it only has to hang up the receiver:
Just give me some replacement addresses for root hints, and I’m in... Problem is, who’s gonna tell all the nodes and routers between here and there?
They are already testing the system on a website called Healthcare.gov and the shutdown system appears to be extremely effective.
Yes. Just like in any banana republic or dictatorship.
Backed up into a Quiky-Mart parking lot.
Ack... that sounds like a very old and very bad novel.
You forget, they're a lot better at wrecking something than at making it work.
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...
I'm feeling retrospective. I think I'll listen to some 70s music.
“We’re from the government. If you don’t like our problems, just wait until you see our solutions....”