U.S. Government Proposes "Internet Kill Switch"

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U.S. Government Proposes "Internet Kill Switch"

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A bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman would give the President a virtual "kill switch" that would allow him to effectively turn off the internet during times of crisis.

The proposed legislation [PDF format] would compel any internet providers, search engines or software companies, at the discretion of the U.S. government, to "immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security. Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the measures would allow the government to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people." Any company that failed to follow orders would face presumably stiff fines.

"For all of its 'user-friendly' allure, the internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," Lieberman said. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies - cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals."

To counter those potential cyber-shenanigans, the bill would give a newly-formed National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications the authority to monitor the "security status" of private websites, ISPs and other net-related business within the U.S. as well as critical internet components in other countries. Companies would be required to take part in "information sharing" with the government and certify to the NCCC that they have implemented approved security measures. Furthermore, any company that "relies on" the internet, telephone system or any other part of the U.S. "information infrastructure" would also be "subject to command" by the NCCC under the proposed new law.

"We cannot afford to wait for a cyber-9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber-resources," said bill co-sponsor Senator Susan Collins.

Lieberman is apparently attempting to make the bill more cyber-palatable by offering immunity from cyber-lawsuits resulting from anything "related to a cyber-vulnerability" after the President has declared a cyber-emergency. Nonetheless, the cyber-bill is expected to meet with stiff cyber-opposition; the Center for Democracy and Technology pointed out that it "includes authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems," while the lobby group TechAmerica worried that its relatively few cyber-limitations raised cyber-serious cyber-concerns about "the potential for absolute power."

Cyber-Source: ZDNet

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Whaaaaaaaaaat?

This is insane. I cannot think of any event that is even remotely feasible that would require the entire internet to be turned off.

Wait.... What? A kill switch? Would there be warning beforehand or would we just be told "We're Turning off your Internetz! HA!"

Actually, part of me hopes they don't give out a warning, like if someone is watching a *Ahem* certain Genre of video and just as it actually starts doing what *ahem* it promises... BOOM! You have no internet!

Calumon: I hope this doesn't catch on.

Oh yeah?

Well the US government can suck my cock.

Help! I accidently deleted the internet!

HA! Loving the mocking, Mr. Chalk. Cyber-this and Cyber-that

Mr. Government,
[/i]You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means[/i]

OT: Is this just for the US? Cus I'm questioning why they would have any right to turn off British internet, considering A) They HAVE no right and B) We technically invented it

Woodsey:
Oh yeah?

Well the US government can suck my cock.

Damn right!

How amazingly self-centred of them... That would disrupt internet commerce the world over!

I'm all for increased levels of security online... but that's just going way too far.

"We cannot afford to wait for a cyber-9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber-resources," said bill co-sponsor Senator Susan Collins.

Oh God! Won't somebody think of the cyber-children!

Also, I get nervous anytime there is talk about stuff like this. I wonder how it would affect us foreigners. Though I suppose that's not really the point.

I think it's silly that, in a moment of hypothetical crisis, they think it's a good idea to paralyze all other parts of the country. (Or the world.)

i wonder what would happen to the internet when it was switched off and someoen accidently deleted the on switch....riots would happen for sure becouse people cant update needless statuses
and why should it affect all the world.... why not only america since america is the oen who thought they spend millions on makeing a switch

Oh COME ON! I'm British, but I can still see that affecting everyone. That's an absolute joke.

"Cyber 9/11" are you fucking having a bubble? This is scaremongering at it's finest. The only counterpoint I can make is that this would probably never be used, but that amount of power over the internet is an absolute joke.

This is ridiculously self-centred, and if and internet kill switch will exist, I hate to see what else they have up their sleeve. Almost PATRIOT-Act esque in terms of stupidity.

EDIT: Also controversy! This'll probably generate around 6 or 7 pages I'm betting.

Oh my good lord. I can see it now, so we'll lose words in our language and they'll be able to listen to us threw our TVs.
Edit: ok more people knew 1984 then I though. Forgot what site I was on for a bit. XD

Ofcourse because when people are panicing having no internet will make it better.

The internet does not belong to the U.S government. It is not theres to shut down.

Or, y'know, the US goverment could fuck off.

Oh, Lieberman! What zany right-wing paranoid fear-mongering will you bring us next? And, more importantly, what civil liberties crushing solution will you propose?

Gut miranda rights? Check. Deny accused criminals other basic rights? Check. Pave the way for a government seizure of the internet? Check.

Cyber 9/11? Am I terrible because I found that quite funny?

Terrible idea. Why should America choose when the entirety of the internet goes down?

i think the internet is classed as free speaking in America right?

if they shut of the internet, that'd cripple their own communication abilities

Andy Chalk:

Companies would be required to take part in "information sharing" with the government and certify to the NCCC that they have implemented approved security measures. Furthermore, any company that "relies on" the internet, telephone system or any other part of the U.S. "information infrastructure" would also be "subject to command" by the NCCC under the proposed new law.

"We cannot afford to wait for a cyber-9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber-resources," said bill co-sponsor Senator Susan Collins.

So basically, they want to take complete control of the internet, take away all aspects of our privacy in relation to the internet, and become the all-seeing, all empowered hand of the internet? Uhm. Are you fucking kidding me? No government should be in control of that much information, nor should they have that much freedom. I do not approve of where this country is going.

Lizmichi:
Oh my good lord. I can see it now, so we'll lose words in our language and they'll be able to listen to us threw our TVs. If anyone gets what I'm referencing I will be surprised.

1984.

Although this sounds like another knee-jerk reactionary scare story to me.

That sounds... stupid.

President Senator Joe Lieberman, our internet was bombed by terrorists!
Shut. Down. EVERYTHING.

Does the word cyber-9/11 piss anyone else off?

Somebody has watched Live Free or Die Hard too many times... seriously, if you're that concerned, maybe you should up the fecking security?! Cause when they take charge, that off button isn't going to do shit!

Seriously, does he really think it's that easy?

joshuaayt:

Does the word cyber-9/11 piss anyone else off?

Everything about this concept lost validity when "Cyber 9/11" came up. Scaremongering, that's all it is.

Hey Lieberman why don't you just wipe your mouth off with the Constitution while you are at it. First it was the Patriot Act now this bullshit? Might as well use the Bill of Rights as toilet paper at this point. I am incensed...

There's a cyber-lot of cyber in this article. It's cyber-taking over! Cyber!

On topic: I thought the internet was self-sustaining. How will they shut down people who are connected directly to the internet backbone and not via an ISP?

So would only the US would be affected? Say for international companies(google first comes to mind)that are based in the US have to completely shut down there services or just to the states?

Presumably, in case the internet is used to co-ordinate some form of social uprising, that might threaten those in power. Which is increasingly likely. I'd be worried, if I were them. I do hope to be them, one day. At which point I'd fully agree that the internet needs a kill switch. But in the mean time; Viva La Revolucion!

I wonder if this gentleman understands that the Internet is not infact a "Series of tubes".

This is probably the most daft thing I have ever heard conceived, besides the building of aircraft carriers out of pykrete (yes, this was considered by none other that Winston Churchill!)

Turning off the Internet? Is this only in the US? or are they talking about the entirety of the Internet? Wouldn't that mean that resources and servers located in the US would not be accessible and hurt possible business interests around the world?

Arrgh too many questions and so much stupidity. At least they are admitting (in a way) that the current security systems of the US aren't unbreakable, as we all know nothing is unbreakable.

How many people use the internet during a "time of crisis" to figure out WHAT TO DO IN A TIME OF CRISIS. Compound the fact that many television systems and phones are linked to the internet and this "killswitch" would cause more panic then the actual crisis. I knew the government was stupid but come on...

This would be completely criminal in my opinion. Cutting off any lines of communication in times of crisis is not just something you shouldn't do, it's something no one should have the power to do and is against the wishes of our founding fathers. A large part of The Constitution is written to make it possible to overthrow tyrants in case they grasp too much power. If the wrong person had that power then it would split any type of resistance. Or say some country invaded and they took over Washington, seizing the off switch. All kinds of possibilities exist and there is not a single good one. I hope that congress doesn't make another asshole mistake out of fear.

once i got a virus on my PC. i turned off the computer and turned it back on. bam the virus was gone.

looks like IT crowd saves me arse again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt9j80Jkc_A

still, no problem for me. i live in ireland.i hope this dosnt catch on in other countries. do you atlest get a warning, when the goverment are saying. hi were turning off teh internetz.

Grouchy Imp:

Lizmichi:
Oh my good lord. I can see it now, so we'll lose words in our language and they'll be able to listen to us threw our TVs. If anyone gets what I'm referencing I will be surprised.

1984.

Although this sounds like another knee-jerk reactionary scare story to me.

Yay someone reads. Someone reads a good book too. Yea I hope this is just a farce so I don't have to start making sighs and find some way to DC and protest this. Cause I will.

craddoke:
Oh, Lieberman! What zany right-wing paranoid fear-mongering will you bring us next? And, more importantly, what civil liberties crushing solution will you propose?

Gut miranda rights? Check. Deny accused criminals other basic rights? Check. Pave the way for a government seizure of the internet? Check.

I could have sworn Lieberman was an Independent Democrat. So wouldn't he be left wing? Or is that the problem? I haven't paid much attention with politics, they've increasingly made me jaded and depressed.

Don't scoff at the risk this could be Cyber 9/11 times 1000!

The trouble with the internet is it was designed to withstand Nuclear attacks. You can't stop the signal.

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