Bill Proposes Internet “Kill Switch” for the President

Clearly the best response for dealing with a crisis of epic proportions would be to give one man the power to eliminate our largest source of information and communication:  the internet.  Don’t worry, though, Congress has got us covered on this one:

US President Barack Obama would be granted powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet under a new bill that describes the global internet as a US “national asset”….

The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman….Titled “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act”, the bill stipulates any internet firms and providers must “immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by a new section of the US Department of Homeland Security, dubbed the “National Centre for Cybersecurity and Communications”….

Lieberman argued the bill was necessary to “preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people”.

As might be expected, Lieberman and the bill’s other supporters frame it as something which is important for our protection — they’re just looking out for us, of course.

Fortunately, many are raising strong objections to this draconian legislation.  One Australian expert likened it to “giving a single country ‘the right to poison the atmosphere, or poison the ocean,'” adding that by “doing this they would do the terrorists the biggest favour ever because they would terrorise the rest of the world.”

He’s absolutely right about the practical implications of this incredibly foolhardy idea — not to mention the ethical and (maybe?) legal issues.  One can only hope that the true nature of this proposed power grab is obvious enough that it won’t make it through Congress, let alone to the desk of our executive power “reducing” president.

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