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Emergency Government Control of the Internet?

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the big-brother-bigger-than-ever dept.

Government 853

TheZid writes "A newly proposed bill would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency.' As usual, our government is trying to take away our privacy by citing security. What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? How about disconnecting bloggers that criticize his health care reform? What counts as an emergency? Can political opponents be deemed a cyber-security emergency?"

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Hands off! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233557)

That'd be like turning off the power grid if there was an emergency... What's the point?

If the government is being attacked, then I would think they would want to take themselves off the 'net, but taking off everyone is just stupid.

Backwards (5, Insightful)

janeuner (815461) | about 5 years ago | (#29233563)

Someone needs emergency control to disconnect Uncle Sam from the internet.

Re:Backwards (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#29233585)

I call it the 1337th Ammendment.

Re:Backwards (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29233739)

The 9th and 10th Amendments will suffice. We just need to surround the Supreme Court and force the judges to read them, rather than ignore them.

BTW is this the "change" you were looking for? ;-)

Re:Backwards (5, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about 5 years ago | (#29233809)

'Tis a shame that the government considers us citizens the enemy, even more of a threat than any outside force.

Watch what is happening very closely and pay attention. You're seeing the fall of a once great republic.

Re:Backwards (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#29233891)

It sounds like they'd only shut off their access to the outside world in the hopes to cut off cyberthreats like North Korean hackers trying to access nukes.

LoL. Well I live in Canada. The US Government can do whatever they want with their internets. It'll suck because the Halo servers will be down, along with Steam, WoW, Battlefield... ... ... ...

*sigh*

Re:Backwards (3, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | about 5 years ago | (#29234023)

I'm forming the Steam Political Alliance to keep the government out of my Steam! I NEED my TF2. :shakes angry fist:
 
Actually, I'm suprised HAMs haven't created a resiliant point to point civilian network yet. When the physical backbone goes down, I guess there's sattelite, but it's hard to beat point to point optical networks for mobility and reliability and hard to jam "frequencies" (unless it rains, or is cloudy, or...).

Re:Backwards (2, Interesting)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 5 years ago | (#29234033)

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see major cloud networks (along with gaming servers) outsourced to foreign countries. Similar to TPB whenever they get shut down or raided.

Re:Backwards (1, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | about 5 years ago | (#29233879)

I can see a need to be able to shut down the net in an emergency but getting it done wouldn't be so simple. For example suppose that some really potent software got lose that enabled bank accounts to be easily raided. A shut down of the net might save the national economy and give a bit of time to find a defense against the new malware. Or another need might be something like a sudden enemy attack where it is known that the enemy is using the net to direct weapons or reveal targets.
                The basic point being that not all legislation is designed to somehow restrict our freedom or do us harm.

Re:Backwards (3, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | about 5 years ago | (#29233993)

There is always someone who tries to rationalize it

Let them do it (0, Flamebait)

Jesterace (914041) | about 5 years ago | (#29233571)

red or blue pill... actually if it helps defend their systems then let them do it. As long as they aren't disconnecting me from the internet then fine.

One more nail in the coffin.... (2, Insightful)

PontifexMaximus (181529) | about 5 years ago | (#29233581)

not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for, but also to our country as a whole. Look back in history and see how 'Empires' in their death throes squeeze more and more, tighten controls more and more to hold onto what is obviously disintegrating.

It's like a fistful of sand, the harder you squeeze, the more that slips through your fingers.

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233681)

Or star systems...

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (5, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | about 5 years ago | (#29233725)

not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for

Then how are you posting?

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233975)

Respawn, duh

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 years ago | (#29233989)

We is plural, it implies him and at least someone else.

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | about 5 years ago | (#29234003)

You think Slashdot is an invention of this world or heaven?
Hell no!!! er it's actually hell.

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233807)

Way to use the same sensationalism they are using against us. First off, YOU are not part of WE. Your ancestors are, limited to those that participated directly in the war effort.

That said, you have a point. People fought and died for this freedom, why the fuck aren't we thinking about what we are doing? Well, people also fought and died for them too... you know... the jew killers.

A Black Man is President, You Have a Small Dick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233893)

Thus, we have all the closet racists up in arms. They may complain about this, that or the other thing, but their real complaint is about the size of their penises. Now that black men can be president, what do these sadly under-endowed man-children have left to offer their sadly unfulfilled wives and girlfriends? Nothing but the short end of the stick. Worthless and weak, these limp-dicked pansies had one thing to make them feel superior to minorities: they are members of the white guy club, just like every president ever elected. Now they have squat, they are frightened and confused, and are simply lashing out in anger, trying to assert their superiority and manhood. What they don't realize is that their motives are transparent, their fears written on their sleeves for all to see.

Yes, your dick is tiny.

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (1, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 years ago | (#29233949)

not only of our basic freedoms that we FOUGHT and DIED for

Uh, you FOUGHT and DIED for the basic freedom to send packets over the Internet? a) I didn't know the dead could post, b) I was unaware of any war fought over the right to send packets, and c) I was unaware that net access was a basic freedom.

Look, I'm as wary of the government as anyone, and the language in this proposal does sound overly broad. But government authority to cut the wire to compromised networks in an emergency might just be a good idea.

Re:One more nail in the coffin.... (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | about 5 years ago | (#29234025)

The regional ISPs now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this Firewall.

Summary (5, Funny)

Eternauta3k (680157) | about 5 years ago | (#29233587)

Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform? What counts as an emergency, can political opponents be deemed a cyber security emergency?"

Jesus christ man, leave something for the comments!

Re:Summary (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about 5 years ago | (#29233655)

He didn't say a word about how they disconnected the Internet in Nazi Germany.

Re:Summary (1, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | about 5 years ago | (#29233897)

He didn't even point out that Obama's middle name is "Hussein".

Re:Summary (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 5 years ago | (#29234017)

But isn't his tinfoil hat just lovely?

Presidential Ban Button (5, Funny)

gilleain (1310105) | about 5 years ago | (#29233593)

Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies?

Perhaps he could have a big red button on his desk labelled "BAN", and could amuse himself by disconnecting people that make fun of him? The summary seems a little alarmist...

Re:Presidential Ban Button (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#29234027)

Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies?

Perhaps he could have a big red button on his desk labelled "BAN", and could amuse himself by disconnecting people that make fun of him? The summary seems a little alarmist...

Or we could just cut the cable to the whitehouse and say that the Internet has been shut down.

Fooled again? (5, Insightful)

UndyingShadow (867720) | about 5 years ago | (#29233595)

Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

Re:Fooled again? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233663)

exactly - imagine the outrage and vitriol we would have seen had this occurred a year ago.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233999)

amen

Sudden boost in American worker productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233597)

as millions lose access to Facebook, Twitter, and [ahem] Slashdot...

It's times like these... (1)

V4L3R4 (1526175) | about 5 years ago | (#29233601)

I'm glad i live in the UK. We're years behind just about any country with just about anything technologically advanced.

Re:It's times like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233637)

Aren't you the ones with security cameras everywhere?

Re:It's times like these... (2, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | about 5 years ago | (#29233641)

Except for the fact that in the U.K. you have security cameras following you everywhere.
Actuallly that might just be London.

Re:It's times like these... (2, Insightful)

V4L3R4 (1526175) | about 5 years ago | (#29233695)

No, they are pretty much everywhere. Not that it does us much good since a security camera won't stop you getting stabbed.

Re:It's times like these... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#29233759)

Or help them find the guy who stabbed you

Re:It's times like these... (1)

V4L3R4 (1526175) | about 5 years ago | (#29233801)

True, if the cameras were any good then it would be possible. Judging by CCTV footage shown on the news, it doesn't seem possible to distinguish face from ass.

Re:It's times like these... (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29233811)

The UK, as we all know, has a great reputation for complete freedom and non-big-brother-government behavior.

don't underestimate our politicitian (4, Informative)

hackingbear (988354) | about 5 years ago | (#29233613)

What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform? What counts as an emergency, can political opponents be deemed a cyber security emergency?

Politicians in this country are all PR/marketing super-talents. Do you think they will or need to do something this unpolished?

Re:don't underestimate our politicitian (3, Funny)

blueg3 (192743) | about 5 years ago | (#29233737)

Surely you appreciate that the only thing keeping Ron Paul and the libertarians from taking over and fixing the country's problems is that The Man spies on every red-blooded American citizen and silences their political dissent by sending them off to Guantanamo.

With Gitmo being closed, The Man needs another means of keeping silent the influential bloggers that could otherwise oust them from power.

What's surprising is that Big Brother actually let information about this new plan slip out to the sheeple, rather than keeping it under wraps (just like Area 51 and Apollo).

Re:don't underestimate our politicitian (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 5 years ago | (#29234045)

Here's YOUR tinfoil hat! Enjoy!

Obama to Drudge: "Feeling Lucky, Punk?" (-1, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 5 years ago | (#29233615)

The writers of dystopian science fiction are getting a great boon from the current administration, if no one else is.

Re:Obama to Drudge: "Feeling Lucky, Punk?" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233793)

The writers of dystopian science fiction are getting a great boon from the current administration, if no one else is.
=====
Drudge is an AGGREGATOR of news stories.
He includes the likes of the NYtimes as well...

Nice try.

(MOD ME DOWN FOR POINTING OUT REALITY IN THE FACE OF A FECKLESS/WEAK LEFTY SMEAR ATTEMPT!!!)

I for one ... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | about 5 years ago | (#29233619)

... welcome our new internet overlords!

'Cyber-Security Emergency?' (1)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | about 5 years ago | (#29233625)

"What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?'" I think that when I can't watch pr0n.

Do it and watch the economy come to a stand-still (5, Insightful)

popo (107611) | about 5 years ago | (#29233627)

I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a single industry left that doesn't rely heavily on the Internet. Shutting down the Internet is the same as shutting down the economy.

Re:Do it and watch the economy come to a stand-sti (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#29233763)

And what evidence do you have that the current Administration would have a problem with that?

Re:Do it and watch the economy come to a stand-sti (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 years ago | (#29234049)

I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a single industry left that doesn't rely heavily on the Internet. Shutting down the Internet is the same as shutting down the economy.

I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a single industry left that doesn't rely heavily on air transport. Grounding all planes is the same as shutting down the economy. And in the wake of the emergency on September 11 2001, temporarily grounding all planes was the only sane thing to do.

The specifics of this proposal may indeed be too broad. But the general idea of cutting the wire to compromised systems and networks in the event of an emergency, is not a bad one.

Let's not over-react. (5, Informative)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 5 years ago | (#29233643)

1. The original legislation was proposed back in April and hasn't gone anywhere. At this point I think it's just lacking supporters.

2. From the actual Bill:

(2) may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network;

(5) shall direct the periodic mapping of Federal Government and United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks, and shall develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of the mapping process;

(6) may order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security"....

This meaning that basically any government related network such as national power grids, water plants. (Things that don't need to be accessible from the internet to begin with) will be under the control of the president during a time of an emergency.

This doesn't affect the (Internet) as a whole. The internet is not a central computer that sits in a government warehouse with an On/Off button. The internet is a protocol, not an object. Basically it is the collection of various servers and networking devices from all over the world.

You simple can't just "Turn it off" which is what many people are fearing.

So in short, if we the united states was under some kind of Cyber attack, the President could not turn off (Slashdot.org, digg.com, weather.com) but they could control the networks of those that are government related.

I still haven't read through the entire bill yet, but that seems to be the basic summary.

Re:Let's not over-react. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233721)

... and if GW Bush was proposing this same bill would you be saying "Let's not over-react." or would you be over-reacting?

I think if we get too much more government control then uncle sam might as well live our lives for us.

Re:Let's not over-react. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233919)

Pretty sure that's EXACTLY what people said when the patriot act and wiretapping laws went into effect.

GWB increased the power of the executive branch more than any president before him, mostly under the label of 9/11 and fighting terrorism.

So now all that power that the Republican congress granted to Bush now belongs to Obama.

Karma's a bitch, ain't it?

Re:Let's not over-react. (3, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | about 5 years ago | (#29233729)

I love the suggestion that this would be used to strangle public blogging against the plan to kill our grandmothers by forcing down their throats the unborn children of the last of our unsterilized white teen girls.

How perfectly nutty. And by "perfect" I mean overwhelmingly beautiful.

Re:Let's not over-react. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#29233769)

So in short, if we the united states was under some kind of Cyber attack, the President could not turn off (Slashdot.org, digg.com, weather.com) but they could control the networks of those that are government related.

No central authority can shut off individual sites, but if you can control of enough of the tube supply like the Tier 1 lines than you can effectively cripple the Internet - make slashdot, digg whatever even more useless than before (although if you dropped the Web 2.0 crap... but I digress).

So you might have slow / limited access which would make things that didn't require all that much infrastructure even more useful.

Like Twitter.

No, I really didn't mean that. I promise.

Re:Let's not over-react. (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | about 5 years ago | (#29233771)

1. That means it's new - sorry to break it to you. 2. Fiber is fiber, the switches that run that fiber aren't always owned by the government.... You -can- turn the internet for the US off by enforcing ISP's to implement a new protocol or procedure - whether it be human interaction or something technical - it's possible. what you're leaving out is that there's many more gap fillers that essentially give the government full discretion of what is 'vital' or not - do you honestly trust them to keep their mitts on their own servers?

Re:Let's not over-react. (3, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | about 5 years ago | (#29233841)

You simple can't just "Turn it off" which is what many people are fearing.

You obviously don't know the US government.

While I agree that what you have posted of the bill looks pretty harmless this could be the beginning of a new slippery slope. This could lead to additions to ISP that would allow the government to lock all private user accounts, throttle bandwidth and/or throw domestic web servers off the grid.

We've seen legislation passed with open ended restrictions and it's a scary to think what can happen from administration to administration with no more than a decree from one man. And with both the legislative and executive branch being under the control of one party it makes it all the worse.

While I don't think it will pass I don't want to find out the hard way.

Re:Let's not over-react. (5, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#29233865)

Some big complaints I gleaned from other news sources seem to include the fact that if you're deemed a "critical" enough place, then

a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.

-- CNET [cnet.com]

The EFF further complains "The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There's no provision for any administrative process or review. That's where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it."

So, random government intrusion in random places which are "critical". Blargh. "Be more specific please" is the complaint.

Re:Let's not over-react. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233903)

or United States critical infrastructure information system or network;

In U.S. legislation, "or" concluded with a vague statement is a blank check. At what point does private internet access get involved with a " critical infrastructure information system or network"?

Government systems don't already have this in place? "Oh crap, we're having a major DDoS attack with possibility of data extraction... leave our network open because there's no legislation regarding our ability to cut the connection, yet."

It's a little too Orwellian for me. If there was no "or" in there, I'd be ok with it.

Re:Let's not over-react. (3, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | about 5 years ago | (#29233911)

A) Who defines a "critical system"? Whoever that is would be wielding some serious power.
B) Is the Internet itself (i.e. the backbones which carry most traffic) considered a "critical infrastructure information system"?
C) If so, they he would have the kill switch to Mae East, Mae West, etc.... That is for all effects and purposes the ability to shut down US access to the Internet.

Re:Let's not over-react. (1)

Azureflare (645778) | about 5 years ago | (#29233927)

That seems much more reasonable than the summary, but it appears that the actual story is referring to other sections which leave control much more open-ended (always very dangerous in legislation).

Unfortunately this law demonstrates a common illness in our government: it's really hard for a simple layman to know what a single law does.

Can we make a proposal to the government that they start adopting the KISS principle?

Maybe they make things so long and complicated just so the population at large has no freakin idea what they are doing... But at any rate that needs to change. We need bills that are readable and understandable by the common citizen to reduce the amount of fear generated by legislation like this.

Paranoia Reigns Supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233647)

The governments can close roads for security reasons. Same for airports and a myriad of other physical entities. However, when it comes to the internet, everyone get's their panties in a bunch. If this were a country like Iran or China, then yes, a proposal like this would be unsettling to say the least. However, I'm not as pessimistic about Uncle Sam's motivations and considering how incompetent corporate security is in many sectors, I don't see this as a bad thing. It just seems like this posting is a typical "angry american", knee-jerk reaction to a well-intentioned government proposal.

Re:Paranoia Reigns Supreme (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233699)

Yeah, great idea, have a big fat kill switch on the internet attached to the government. Then when some hacker hacks into the government and finds it (or reverse engineers the kill switch), boom goes the internet!

There are actual REASONS for closing roads/airports and other physical entities. In an emergency they become unusable if people freak out and all try to flee like little lemmings.

There's no good reason to shut off the internet unless someone finds a way to instantly pwn every machine without warning. And does anyone expect that to ever happen?

Re:Paranoia Reigns Supreme (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | about 5 years ago | (#29233733)

Feeding the troll, I know, but, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

In the administration's defense (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#29233669)

You never know when terrorists might try to launch an political campaign that opposes the President.

Re:In the administration's defense (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 years ago | (#29233767)

That is too damn close to say that the opposite party are terrorists. From there to dictatorship there are a very small step, for this government or whatever ones comes next.

Re:In the administration's defense (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29233839)

[sarcasm] He's not just the President! He's going to change the world! And I know he can be trusted, just listen to him. I don't mind him having the power to turn off the internet for a little while if that's what we need to do to change! [insert some comment about the "previous 8 years" here] [/sarcasm]

Not privacy, free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233675)

[quote]A newly proposed bill that would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency'. As usual, citing security our government is trying to take away our privacy.[/quote] How is this the government trying to take away our privacy? I think you mean free speech.

no! (1)

Under_score+1 (1610199) | about 5 years ago | (#29233679)

You can't disconnect this dissenter. I'll just connect to a different internet.

UN must control root DNS servers (3, Funny)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 5 years ago | (#29233687)

Well, I can't think of anything better than the UN, but I'm still not entirely happy with it.

Re:UN must control root DNS servers (1)

popo (107611) | about 5 years ago | (#29233799)

Huh? Why would a body that gives disproportionately overweight representation to despots be a good choice?

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233849)

Unfortunately, whomever controls the root DNS servers largely controls the Internet.

In a past life, I worked for Network Solutions as a DNS/Registry/Registrar guy. This was back in the late 90s when the Internet was still more or less a nascent thing. We were exceedingly careful when making changed to DNS entries, especially the TTL (time to live) settings. TTL settings can make or break a website, and these days with most sites being very dynamic in nature, whomever controls the root servers is the man.

Re:UN must control root DNS servers (1)

osadmin (1626991) | about 5 years ago | (#29233869)

The UN has not always shown the best judgment.

Great.. (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | about 5 years ago | (#29233691)

All it takes is one security slip up ... internet killswitch for the win...

Re:Great.. (1)

Azureflare (645778) | about 5 years ago | (#29233757)

Exactly my thoughts on this. It'd be like a giant backdoor into the internet that everyone knows exists. Prime target for hackers/crackers.

I like my internet distributed and robust. It's decentralized for a reason.

Privacy?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233701)

"As usual, citing security our government is trying to take away our privacy."

Not sure how any of this affects our privacy....more of a throwing the baby out with the bathwater kind of thing.

Reject authority? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | about 5 years ago | (#29233707)

Is there any way to create a new ISP that rejects the governments authority?

No we will not monitor our customers.
No we will not limit their bandwidth.
As long as they pay their bill they will receive service.
No we will not keep IP logs, and any we need to keep for connection purposes we will never divulge under any circumstances.

We maintain that we are nothing more than conduit of information, and we do not care what that information is.

Re:Reject authority? (1)

Extremus (1043274) | about 5 years ago | (#29233831)

That is easy! Just go to bed and sleep. If you are lucky enough, it will happen. Well... sort of.

The eternal September 11 (4, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 5 years ago | (#29233749)

Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform?

I think people who believe this level of stupidity deserve to be disconnected from the Internet. They are fucking damage, and I'm getting tired of routing around them.

Re:The eternal September 11 (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 5 years ago | (#29234001)

Disconnect is a little difficult. Let's start with something simple, like not having their opinions appear on the front page of Slashdot.

Stay away from me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233755)

"The source said that one primary concern was the electrical grid, and what would happen if it were attacked from a broadband connection. "

I HAVE A BROADBAND CONNECTION AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!!

al gore (0)

pha7boy (1242512) | about 5 years ago | (#29233761)

al gore invented the internet, al gore will disconnect your ass if you're not careful. He still has the master key, you know. and the only map to the innertubes that shows the secret layer location of both steve jobs and bill gates.

Such Hysteria - Take A Chill Pill And A Nap (2)

Stupid Crunt (1627025) | about 5 years ago | (#29233775)

How did this make it to the front page of /.?

Good intentions or precursor to tyranny? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | about 5 years ago | (#29233777)

I'm sure that this is being done with good intentions. Ignoring abuse, consider the possibility of a DDOS attack launched from private compromised computers. My guess is that the intentions here are to be able to go in and shut those systems down mitigating an organized attack. With the growth of both organized crime as well as other nations in the field of computer based warfare, it seems like at least a sensible precaution to be able to defend ones self. The problem herein lies in potential abuse of these powers and if there is any accountability either before or after the fact. Imagine a different situation where post election violence erupted and the government began shutting down all avenues of communication including systems that run programs like twitter that donâ(TM)t need to be accessed directly from a computer. Not say it's fool proof but it could disrupt any sort of wide spread organization.

Holy awful summary, Batman! (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29233781)

Look, there are a TON of legitimate complaints about this bill.

Abuse of government powers in violation of free speech for political gain, etc, shouldn't be included. Those issues have already been addressed... the federal government already has the ability to step in and limit free speech in private channels if there is clear and present danger. The potential for abuse is already there, and has been there all along. This bill in no way affects that.

Your ridiculous leading questions detract from the real issues, which are outlined in TFA (for people that oppose a bill like this).

IMO, instead of "ZOMGWTF Totalitarian State Abusing Government Powers for Political Gain!", the real issue here is that critical infrastructure is in the hands of private for-profit corporations. These companies have the ability to hamstring the US economically through unilateral action (or even by accident). Critical infrastructure should be nationalized, in my opinion, or at the very least very closely supervised to ensure it is secure.

But I imagine that my views are contrary to the majority of slashdotters, and I expect to be modded into oblivion. No one wants the goobermint in their internets, even when oversight is necessary to maintain the integrity of our economy (such as it is), especially in the face of a directed and concerted attack on that infrastructure.

Where Were You? (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 5 years ago | (#29233785)

I don't know whether this newly announced policy is at all a good idea. But I can't tell from the reporting whether it's even what the headlines say. Those headlines lately have been telling us the government is going to execute grandma rather than pay for her back medicine, and other crazy talk based on nothing.

But what I do want to know right now is where were you the past 8 years? While the government was spying on every American's email and phone. While it was infiltrating nonviolent political groups with troublemakers and spies. While it was torturing people to death around the world. While it was invading Iraq for no good reason, lying all the time. While it was kidnapping people into prisons without any charges or basis for them. While it was feeding banks as much credit and deregulation as they could stand until they went bust, then handed them more $TRILLIONS. While it stopped collecting taxes from rich people, even as bridges collapsed and cities drowned.

Where the hell were you then? Or do you suddenly get up in arms only when your porn might get cut off during a massive cyberattack, for which you'll blame the government instead of the attackers? Or maybe it has something to do with a Black Democrat being "the government" for a while, instead of a nice White Republican.

Where were you for 8 years? If you weren't submitting those stories or too busy stopping them to post, then go back under whatever rock you came from. The rest of us are trying to clean up that mess, and you're tracking it all over the floors.

Panties in a bunch much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29233827)

Concerned about privacy (for private networks)? Absolutely! Valid concern! Bravo! Concerned that Obama's gonna take Drudge offline because he covers a tea party event? You are a moron and RTFA

The Elites Plan for World Domination... (0, Flamebait)

jameskojiro (705701) | about 5 years ago | (#29233847)

Step 1. Screw up the economy by spending like drunken sailors and pay their cronies billions in useless fiat currency.
Step 2. Hype the "Svine Fluuuuu" all over the news and internet as much as Y2K was hyped.
Step 3. Push through a "Svine Fluuuuu" vaccination that is actually filled with all sorts of poison additives like mercury and squalene
Step 4. Forcibly inject people with this vaccine and if they refuse either fine them a thousand bucks a day or throw them into interment camps.
Step 5. When general population "wakes up" to the fact they are being killed the elites press the big "Disconnect Internet" button.
Step 6. With millions dead they impose "martial law" on all of us in the guise of "Restoring order"
Step 7. ???
Step 8. Control the world with a monarchy lording over serfs (the regular folks who survive).

Of course this is what the tin-foil hatters will be going on about when they hear about the Internet control scheme.

Sad thing is the tinfoilers are actually starting to make sense thee days and it scares the crap out of me.

Do we really need something else to worry about? (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | about 5 years ago | (#29233859)

Undersea transmission lines, backhoe to the fiber, natural disasters, botnets, worms, viruses, ddos, slashdotting - and to add icing to the cake, a presidential killswitch? Brilliant.

Even if it -WAS- only meant for 'government' only (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | about 5 years ago | (#29233885)

It'll be great when time.nist.gov goes down >_

How? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 years ago | (#29233901)

How are they planning on doing this? It's not like the government has boxes at every ISP and backbone that they can just flick a switch.

This is not as outlandish as it sounds... (2, Insightful)

LitelySalted (1348425) | about 5 years ago | (#29233909)

I don't think this is really that outlandish. Considering that the Obama administration has recently appointed new chairs for the Internet or the number of posts, on Slashdot alone, that talk about how internet security is the new method for waging wars, what about this is surprising people?

No one likes the idea of losing freedoms during peace times, but the second something terrible happens, people will throw it away for a blanket.

Let's face it, the majority of people out there have no idea how a computer works. It is essentially magic to them. They don't know what a "Zombie" computer is or that they are possibly assisting in a DDOS attack. The government may need to act and unfortunately they won't be able to discern who is a good computer user and who is not, so everyone is going to get cut.

Oh shit, they can take away my porn? (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 5 years ago | (#29233925)

I gotta go start chiseling naked women into rocks as a backup solution!

Are you a "Birther" ? (0, Troll)

mauriceh (3721) | about 5 years ago | (#29233941)

You write:
"Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? Disconnect bloggers that criticize his health-reform?"

 
Hmm, have you been attending town hall meetings armed with your guns, bubba?
Quick, call Faux News, they want to hear from you!

Re:Are you a "Birther" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29234055)

Hmm, have you been attending town hall meetings armed with your guns, bubba?
Quick, call Faux News, they want to hear from you!

.. and this post is a good example why many Democrats represent evil.

The real question would be... (1)

Churla (936633) | about 5 years ago | (#29233951)

Would he disconnect the entire Internet if his raid was about to wipe just to avoid the repair bill.

Privacy? Where? (4, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | about 5 years ago | (#29233957)

While it's quite a lot of things, being disconnected from the Internet is NOT a breach of my privacy. I hadn't heard that Echelon was dismantled, so I'm pretty sure that anything I send out unencrypted is being parsed (and anything encrypted stored for future reference) even without this particular emergency order. My stuff on my computer is still on my computer.

And I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but frankly it's about time that this kind of thing was talked about and put into law. The bits of the Internet that are on sovereign US territory are most certainly vital national infrastructure by now, and the law needs to be updated. It's long past time that the US government, and the US population woke up to the threat vectors presented by the Internet, and deal with the hard questions surrounding what to do when the "cyber war" eventually happens, whether it's concerted non-state entities mounting an attack against Internet connected infrastructure or government/military Internet areas, or state entities. If we have finally decided, or are close to deciding, what level of "attack" through networks constitutes a declaration of war (and if we haven't, we damn well should be doing THAT too), then the POTUS as Commander In Chief needs to be able to do the kind of crap you do in an attack on your country. And putting into law is a LOT better than letting whomever is the President at the time make up his powers in that situation from the ether like the Bush Administration did. This particular bill may or may not be the correct answer, I haven't read it. Something like this, however, is going to and should be put in place. I'm all for using the political process to make it the best possible bill, but acting like the government shouldn't ever be able to do this kind of thing is fantasy.

stupidity from government,hysteria from the rabble (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#29234031)

the government only means well when trying to create legislation to effectively deal with internet attacks. its mundane in language not because its a sneaky conspiracy to slip all-encompassing power to an ideological monopoly, but because its simply mundane in purpose as well

but of course, the legislation is fucking retarded: there are much better ways to deal with cyberattacks like ddos than to pass pointless wasteful backfiring laws

but instead of simply pointing this out, we have a million screaming fear-addled nitwits who believe this is some sort fascist march. the stupidity of the government's proposal is only matched by the fear-addled stupidity of the responses to it like you see in the comments here

no, dimwits, this is not overturning the constitution and all the blood and sacrifice of the american revolution. no morons, this is not 1984 or the rise of nazism or agent smith or emperor palpatine or whatever else goes on in your paranoid schizophrenic fantasy life

your government means well, its just stupid. period, end of story. that really is the truth. but you who react to it like its fascist armageddon are fear-addled hysterical twits that are certainly no better than your government's stupidity

yes, you with your adrenal glands firing on all cylinders and your cold sweats and your demagoguery-stoking images and the battle hymn of the republic going off on full alarm in your head: calm the fuck down you low iq high adrenaline twit. a raccoon in the throes of fight-or-flight spasms after you turn the porch light on in the middle of the night has a leveler head than some of you

why don't some of you go buy automatic weapons and some tins of tuna fish and move to the high sierras and leave the job of corralling the well meaning but idiotic public servants back towards common sense to MUCH leveler heads than yours

k, thanks!

If you shut us off... (1)

sleekware (1109351) | about 5 years ago | (#29234037)

we will set up darknets.
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