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Cyber Insecurity: ‘Internet Kill Switch’ Bill Moves On

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By Doug Powers  •  June 26, 2010 03:17 PM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Hey, why shouldn’t people who couldn’t even keep the Organizing for America website and Barack Obama’s own Twitter account from being hacked be in charge of Internet security?

I seriously doubt that anybody in government would be capable of coming up with a way to shut down Al Gore’s beloved creation to the most creative among the private sector or the most devious in the “bad-guy” realm, but President Obama and willing cohorts in Congress are still trying nonetheless:

A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.

Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet “kill switch.” Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause “the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication” in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said in a breakdown of the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website.

I’d read the breakdown of the actual bill, linked in the clip above, but, ironically enough, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs website is disabled at the time of this writing. Maybe the White House is busy testing the “kill switch” on it, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. With any luck, Obama didn’t accidentally give Medvedev the kill switch instead of the reset button. (Update: The HSGAS site is back up now)

Hopefully voters use their own constitutionally provided “kill switch” on the first Tuesday this November and again two years later.

In the meantime, don’t worry much about the Internet right now, because President Obama has landed in Ontario at the G8 Summit and was focused on other more important issues the second he arrived:

When U.S. President Barack Obama stepped off his helicopter in Huntsville on Friday, the first thing he said was, “You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?” Industry Minister Tony Clement told the National Post in an exclusive interview.

Speaking of being denied access, is anybody else having trouble with Twitter? I’ve been getting an “over capacity” message all day.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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