KILLSWITCH ENGAGE BROSEPH
Yet again I NEED to repost a motherboard.tv link. Apparently a bill is being pushed through congress to give the President an ‘internet killswitch,’ which would give President Obama the power to “issue a declaration of a national cyberemergency.” Honestly, just read the motherboard post; this guy did his homework.
The bill requires that U.S.-based companies such as Google and Yahoo, as well as broadband providers and software firms, comply with any and all measures that the government sees fit in an emergency.
This bill is old news; it was introduced last year with little hooplah but this revised version includes new language saying that the federal government’s designation of vital Internet or other computer systems “shall not be subject to judicial review.” Companies can object to these emergency regulations, but they can only appeal to DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, and the buck stops there.
Companies like Microsoft and Verizon were initially on board for the cybersecurity when the bill was first introduced, but the absence of a court system in the new bill is mighty unnerving.
Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include “provider of information technology,” and a third authorized the submission of “classified” reports on security vulnerabilities. So now there are 3 requirements to be subjected to the emergency killswitch: First, if the disruption of the system could cause “severe economic consequences” or worse. Second, if the system “is a component of the national information infrastructure.” Third, if the “national information infrastructure is essential to the reliable operation of the system.”
So what does that all mean? “President Obama would then have the power to ‘issue a declaration of a national cyberemergency. What that entails is a little unclear, including whether DHS could pry user information out of Internet companies that it would not normally be entitled to obtain without a court order. One section says they can disclose certain types of noncommunications data if ‘specifically authorized by law,’ but a presidential decree may suffice.”
Bottom line, the bill is allowing the government to control “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.
Lieberman is pushing this shit hardcore. “Lieberman, who recently announced he would not seek re-election in 2012, said last year that enactment of his bill needed to be a top congressional priority. “For all of its ‘user-friendly’ allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets,” he said.”
Cybersecurity has been a major issue for the US lately, so who knows if this bill is in it to win it this time. HUGE implications for the internet though.