Obama internet 'kill switch' bill approved
June 25, 2010
The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “The US senators pushing a controversial new bill that some fear would give President Barack Obama the powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet have rejected claims it would give Obama a net ‘kill switch’.
The bill, titled Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, has been unanimously approved by the US Homeland Security committee and will be put to a vote on the Senate floor shortly.
Lobby groups and academics quickly rounded on the bill, which seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the internet in times of national emergency.
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’.
The critics said that, rather than combat terrorists, it would actually do them ‘the biggest favour ever’ by terrorising the rest of the world, which is now heavily reliant on cyberspace.
Australian academics criticised the description in the bill's title of the internet as a US ‘national asset’, saying any action would disrupt other countries as most of the critical internet infrastructure is located in the US…”