Without much public fanfare recently
a Senate Committee unanimously approved the bill dubbed "Internet Kill Switch," which among other things
would allow the President to take over civilian networks in case of an
emergency. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously
approved the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 (S. 3480)
and now moves to the Senate floor for a full vote. Given our economic
dependence on the Internet and the amount of energy devoted defending major
cyber attacks one might wonder if a more public debate would be wise. Many
Internet based companies I represent would simply cease to exist if the
President hit the "Internet Kill Switch"!
Who Supports the "Internet Kill
Microsoft, Verizon, EMC, Symantec, and others
support the proposed law, so there must be something to the proposed Act.
You can be your own judge by reviewing the Senate Committee's report entitled "Myth v. Reality of Cybersecurity Legislation."
Whether the proposed Act is best for the US is still in debate, however given threats of Cyber War to the Internet something
must be done to protect the Internet.
Senator's Interview about the
"Internet Kill Switch"
Sponsor of the proposed Act Senator
Lieberman recently told CNN's Candy Crowley about the whether the
proposed Act was an "Internet Kill Switch":
total misinformation. I don't know whether people are intentionally pedalling
misinformation. Here is the fact. Cyber war is going on in some sense right
now. Our civilian infrastructure, the Internet that runs the electric grid, the
telecommunications grid, transportation, all the rest is constantly being
probed by nation states, by some terrorist groups, by organized criminal gangs.
we need this capacity in a time of war. We need the capacity for the president
to say, Internet service provider, we've got to disconnect the American
Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country, or we've got
to put a patch on this part of it.
president will never take over -- the government should never take over the
Internet. Listen, we've consulted, Senator Collins and I, who are proposing
this bill, with civil liberties and privacy experts. This is a matter of
national security. A cyber attack on America can do as much or more damage
today by incapacitating our banks, our communications, our finance, our
transportation, as a conventional war attack.
the president, in catastrophic cases -- not going to do it every day, not going
to take it over. So I say to my friends on the Internet, relax... take a look
at the bill. And this is something that we need to protect our country. Right
now, China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of
war. We need to have that here, too.
Seems pretty clear to me that we
need public debate and scrutiny of Cyber protection since our culture has
become so dependent on the Internet.
Without much public fanfare recently a Senate Committee unanimously approved the bill dubbed " Internet