US Senate Approves Internet Security Plan, Critics Call It ‘Kill Switch’

June 28, 2010

US (ChattahBox) – The U.S. Senate has approved a bill by President Barack Obama today, which would give a limited amount of power to the president to shut down certain channels on the Internet, in the case of a cyberattack.

Critics of the bill called it an ‘Internet Kill Switch’, and accused the government of attempting to give sweeping power to the White House over the net.

But the Senate has disputed this fiercely, pointing out that this new law actually limits the president’s power over communication, whereas the Communications Act of 1934, which was still in place, offered far more control, without any of the necessary updates for modern technology.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act will create the White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, both of which will be dedicated purely to the protection of cyber networks in the United States.

It will also allow for the deployment of emergency tactics from cyber entities that are especially critical to the safety and well being of the country, such as major banks, government agencies, the Department of Defense, and others, all within 24 hours of a declared emergency from the president.

“Our responsibility for cyber defence goes well beyond the public sector because so much of cyberspace is owned and operated by the private sector,” Senator Joe Lieberman said in a statement quoted by Techworld.

“The Department of Homeland Security has actually shown that vulnerabilities in key private sector networks like utilities and communications could bring our economy down for a period of time if attacked or commandeered by a foreign power or cyber terrorists.”

A breakdown of the bill can be seen here.


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