Viewing Story

Internet “Kill Switch” for Obama?

Posted by Bradley Wint on 25/01/2011

It seems that a failed bill to implement an Internet “kill switch” may be heading back for scrutiny in Congress this year but with a catch.

Rather than having the courts review a decision the shut down major network nodes, the president could shut down significant portions of the web if he and his staff feel that there is any serious form of cyberthreat and terrorism, such as a fire sale.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act would essentially allow him and other successive presidents the power to disconnect major government networks and force other private networks to comply with their security directives. With no law oversight, if Obama suddenly turned into a Nazi Zombie, he could shut down the net and there would be no legal recourse for any damage or losses caused as a result of the shutdown.

The biggest concern by critics is obviously the lack of legal control. The Communications Act of 1934 allows for the president to shut down the communication portals during a time of war, but this new act allows for his power to be extended to cases of “national cyberemergency.”

Focus surrounds “critical infrastructure” which are basically components on the web which are vital to government operations. The bill would then control these major segments and any other private installations related to government needs. However a “critical infrastructure” could mean a lot more than you think. Also, a “national cyberemergency” is still not properly defined and most what else they may request as part of the shut down, such as demanding stored information from private online systems.

Even though the original draft was denied in 2010, it may very well make a comeback in 2011.

Follow Us On Facebook

blog comments powered by Disqus