The U.S. wants to be able to shut off the Internet too | NESHEAHOLIC

Monday, January 31, 2011

The U.S. wants to be able to shut off the Internet too

Because of all the coverage of the current "Egyptian Revolution" I'm not sure how many people in the U.S. realize that congress is floating around legislation that would allow the president of the United States to have an "internet kill switch" - quite similar to the mechanism Egyptian officials used to stop internet there.

The bill is being floated by Republican Senator Susan Collins. She says:

"The bill is designed to protect against “significant” cyber threats before they cause damage. My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency. It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”
Now if you're like me, you're thinking "What kind of cyber threat would require killing the internet?" The example she gave when presented with that question was being able to require the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover Dam to cut it's internet if the government detected and imminent cyber attack. *blank stare*

For something as specific as that, not only is there not a need to cut off wide span internet usage, but it also seems like the infrastructures of things like the Hoover Dam should already have precautions in place for cyber hacking. And how does one know a cyber attack is coming in enough time to stop something of the sort? This seems too easily something that could lead to internet censoring.

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