No “Kill Switch” in Lieberman-Collins Bill, But There’s Been One Since 1934

Big Red Button

Via ReadWriteWeb:

It doesn’t sound like a “kill switch.” The bill would require the President to submit a report describing, among other things, “The actions necessary to preserve the reliable operation and mitigate the consequences of the potential disruption of covered critical infrastructure” (pg. 84 lines 1-4). That sounds like the opposite of a kill switch: this legislation describes a process by which the president is expected to take action to ensure access to “critical infrastructure” -including the Internet.

There’s plenty of room to debate the merits of the federal government dictating the security policies of private companies, the ability of the president to continually extend any provisions beyond 30 days, the value of establishing new cyber security departments within the government, and the vagueness of the language in the bill. But this is nothing nearly so radical as some are making it out to be.

In fact, as Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ web site for the bill points out, the President already has a legislative (but of course, not technological) “kill switch.” The Communications Act of 1934 gave the president power to shut down “wire communications.”

[Full story at ReadWriteWeb]

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  • Conniedobbs

    LOL I *LOVE* how many people bought the original headline. O noes! Obama's gonna take my internets! The only thing sadder than your paranoia is your naivety.

    • justagirl

      you're funny. but, i think the paranoia is quite justified; naivety would be to believe that the prez wouldn't abuse power of any level.

      • Conniedobbs

        Obama wouldn't do it because he'd be afraid of the reaction. He's not exactly the most aggressive president we've ever had. I actually welcome it, it would be interesting to watch the fallout.

  • Conniedobbs

    Obama wouldn’t do it because he’d be afraid of the reaction. He’s not exactly the most aggressive president we’ve ever had. I actually welcome it, it would be interesting to watch the fallout.