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Sen. Bond Disses Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the clean-neat-simple-quick dept.

Government 171

GovTechGuy writes "Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) has introduced his own cybersecurity legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, and he had some harsh words for a competing bill sponsored by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Bond said that bill, which has been criticized for allegedly giving the president a 'kill switch' over the Internet, weighs down the private sector with mandates and puts too much on the plate of the already overburdened Department of Homeland Security. Sen. Bond's bill would create a new position in the Pentagon, reporting directly to the president, in charge of coordinating all civilian cybersecurity. Any private-sector involvement would be voluntary and free from legal challenge, rather than mandated."

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171 comments

Stop that task in the name of the law! (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711732)

We don't need a military-like "big red button" in the boss's office that shuts down all Internet systems... that would open us up to even worse problems. (Did anybody watch the recent CNN special "We Were Warned: Cyber Shockwave" about this situation exactly? If you shut down all civilian communications, how are you going to tell workers where they're needed? A simple attack somewhere along the power grid, and nobody will know where the fault is to repair it.)

But, there is something we should give over in this area. The ability to kill programs that are causing damage to other systems or the Internet structure. Basically, if food has a problem, we recall what had the problem, not all food. If MS-SQL has a problem, we have an Internet outage... what if Microsoft was able to say "You must patch to version 7.3.43... we've got a security problem with 7.3.42." Basically, if you're running a "wrong" version of an application, you shouldn't be allowed to expose that to the Internet... you're just going to spread the worm of the day once you get caught by the bad guys. Can we have some good guys shut you down first?

The difference is clear... you don't shut down the whole Internet when things go bad, you shut down the bad application. SysAdmins will notice their service is down, and hopefully will get a nice clear message that they've put off the patches for too long, and if their server wasn't already spreading the worm, it was about to before the kill switch got in the way.

This is much like the college solution where if their honeypot detects that you've sent out a worm packet, they tell the nearest network switch to cut you off. You notice your IM client can't connect and neither can your web browser, and call IT. The Internet isn't down... you're down for the safety of the computers around you. Bring your machine to IT, pay for the cleanup service and a free copy of the college's favorite anti-virus, and while you carry your machine back to the dorm they turn your port back on.

This is just basic cyber-defense. You're totally secure if you unplug everything... but then you also lose the services which are the point of having the server. We need to use the good servers to keep some level of communication going... and spread the word that the bad servers need the patch that was released a few months ago! When things go wrong, you don't throw the whole thing out without trying to fix it first!

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (5, Insightful)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711744)

Under this system, of course Bittorrent would end up being classified as a "bad application".

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711754)

BitTorrent isn't destroying networks unless you're counting the TV kind.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (2, Insightful)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711814)

And of course that would stop them once the technology is in place.

For all of ten seconds.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712244)

s/Bittorrent/every fucking application that The Authorities didn't approve/

The only system I can imagine where this might work, is if the creator of the software was the only one with the power to blacklist a version of it, and nobody for Free Software. And of course they can only blacklist something if an upgrade is available for free.

Now for the fun part: how do you decide whether you're talking to a good version, a bad one, or a really bad one saying it's good?

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712770)

Now for the fun part: how do you decide whether you're talking to a good version, a bad one, or a really bad one saying it's good?

Just check the evil bit: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3514.html

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711800)

How about the extremely common situation that an older version of software (often firmware) allows something the company did not intend, like jailbreaking? I don't want to allow companies to legally force people to update, that gives far too much power to greedy companies like Apple, who would love nothing more than that power. What is to stop them from releasing a "new" version of something which breaks the device as soon as they have a new model ready to sell?

Nothing.

Government is fine. Keep CORPORATIONS out of my bedroom. They have no reason to be there.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711830)

We just need a simple legal standard. If you're causing harm to the network by hacking other machines, you must upgrade. If you're simply using more bandwidth, you get charged for your overage. If you're doing something that manufacturer didn't intend like running Linux on your router, you're fine.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (4, Interesting)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711860)

Yeah, tell me how that goes. With the good-intention Chernobyl that is modern copyright legislation, you keep telling yourself that giving any more power to private interests is a good thing. I'll keep fighting for my rights against people who advocate that, thanks you.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712700)

With the good-intention Chernobyl that is modern copyright legislation

Recent copyright legislation has no basis in any good intentions, unless they're intentions to leave large inheritances to RIAA/MPAA members' children.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712048)

Who decides what is the 'correct' software?

Is it a whitelist or blacklist?

How is it enforced, what if I have it lie?

What technical implementation does this need?

Do we begin licensing programmers?

Do we install TPM in everyone's computer, effectively ending innovation and free speech?

Too many people are eager for a benevolent king.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (5, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712270)

Not exactly sure. But I am pretty sure that the answer to every one of those questions has the word "money" in it.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712602)

Not exactly sure. But I am pretty sure that the answer to every one of those questions has the word "money" in it.

Really? I thought it was 42.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712768)

Look at the ACTA and who's behind it.

Normally, I'd think the idea of companies having "voluntary" ability to comply or not could be a good thing.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32711978)

I'm not worried about CORPORATIONS--they only want my money. Government wants my money and my LIFE.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (2, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712046)

They'll both happily take your life, as is shown by slavery and the horrible working conditions that were common until very recently. It just happens that the government currently keeps the corporations from taking it. Funny how that is, isn't it?

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712496)

Flamebait. Heh. Guess the liberts. got mod points today.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (2, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712574)

Sigh. No, it's just that not every argument against Big Government can be dispelled conveniently by invoking Sinclair Lewis.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712058)

Once you understand that they're all controlled by the same people, you'll feel much better.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (5, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712188)

Government is fine. Keep CORPORATIONS out of my bedroom. They have no reason to be there.

I'm sure the users of KY disagree with you there...

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712510)

"Government is fine."

Seriously? You want the government in your bedroom?
Scary

You assume everyone has control of their server (2, Interesting)

Trerro (711448) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712010)

Most sites are running off of crappy shared hosting services, and the guy actually running the site has no idea how the server was configured, and whether current (or any!) security patches have been applied. He can do things like call phpinfo() to make sure that's at least current and intelligently configured, but he has no idea if the server itself is set up well, and more importantly, no way to fix it if it isn't.

This creates a huge problem if the server is pulled. Suddenly, all the shared hosting accounts go dark, and no one can even retrieve their site. Even assuming the site owner has a reasonably current backup, things like forum posts get lost, and the site operator is forced to send off a mass email explaining the problem (if he even knows what happened!) and then frantically try to rebuild the site elsewhere. Oh, and the hosting company usually owns the domain, so when it does come back up, he's still missing a huge chunk of his userbase.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to estimate that 90% of websites are on shared hosting accounts. Granted, it's the 90% that don't get much traffic, but every site has to start somewhere, and many simply aren't intended to be for more than a handful of users.

No (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712100)

While I'm very much in favor of disconnecting zombies and computers running network-degrading malware, I am not at all in favor of disconnecting people's devices for not running approved versions of software (or, worse yet, for not running approved software packages). To do so is to give ISPs far too much control over my computer for not enough benefit.

I think the key is to invest in:

1) Attack detection tools, to disconnect users who are knowingly or unknowingly participating in online attacks.
2) Safer coding practices, to avoid the kinds of vulnerabilities that make such attacks possible.
3) Educate users to be more conscious of security issues.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712120)

You didn't even touch on the biggest worry about having a kill switch on the Net: how hard is it for a vandal to flick the switch? After all, said vandal would get huge accolades from his/her peers for shutting down the Net (hopefully not for long...), which is enough motivation. Heck, the vandal would probably get a lecture tour!

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712382)

Bitches don't know about all my pipes. Someone will open up a black market internet access store the minute this bill passes. Too many ways to deliver it now, it'd be too easy to set up a private refugee internet if this became abused. We had computers without ready tcp/ip access before and thats how it came to be. If it needs to happen again, it can.

Re:Stop that task in the name of the law! (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712462)

I don't know that the internet killswitch option precludes what you're suggesting. I think the killswitch idea could be likened to grounding all planes after the 9/11 attacks. Pretty fricken draconian, but the didn't know which planes had bad guys onboard.

The killswitch option clearly doesn't make sense if you know where the attack is coming from. It may also not make sense in general for other reasons, such as is there a potential situation on the internet comparable to the 9/11 attacks where one only knows in the most general terms where the threat is. Because as you point out, if you know more specifically the source of the threat, what makes sense is to address it directly.

International concerns? (3, Insightful)

strayant (789108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711766)

So, what about the impact on all the other countries?

Re:International concerns? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712584)

LOL. As far as I'm concerned, it's another reason to create an internet capable of living without America. TBH, I couldn't care what or how you want to do it in your own country, I'm sure you'll get what whatever you're "they" think is necessary. The only thing that really jumped out at me was the mention, yet again, of another responsibility for Homeland Security. I'm seeing this name everywhere now. Last time was onsite at the Gulf of Mexico. WTF? I thought they were your "terrorist police", but they look like they are becoming the "generic authority with all the power they want" police.

Hmmmm (-1, Troll)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711780)

Damn shame that the bill sponsor is Republican. That much aside, I am glad he is doing something to stop this.

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711812)

Why is it such a shame that it's a Republican?

Re:Hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711840)

Because this is slashdot where all opinions are welcomed, and everyone is a free thinker. As long as they all go along with the hyper-leftist herd.

     

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712130)

The original post is a very simplistic thinker, and is evidently unable to consider political debate on any more substantial level than a 'my team vs your team' high-school football style.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712332)

The original post is a very simplistic thinker, and is evidently unable to consider political debate on any more substantial level than a 'my team vs your team' high-school football style.

Because when there are only two practical choices, you expect something else?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712232)

Except for Orrin, of course, who is a well-known pain in the ass, I get the impression Democrats are _more_ in line with Hollywood if that is possible. I wrote loaves-and-fish, wine-into-water dear Sainted Democrat Paul Wellstone that I thought it was a definition of insanity that it was 5 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine for watching a legally purchased DVD on a linux machine because it used the illegal-to-KNOW libdvdcss MATH. I got a reply back that he approved of the DMCA and would vote for it again. End. Case closed.

And it isn't Bush pushing for the kill switch. So, frankly, none of our (two) parties voice much difference on the internet and DRM.

 

How about this... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711790)

How about this? A 20 year moratorium on introducing any new rules/regulations on the internet.

Its a rarity if government regulation actually helps, and even when it does "help" it either creates larger problems down the road or fixes something else the government did.

Other than the initial creation of the internet, it has been largely a private affair and that is responsible for the majority of its growth.

Re:How about this... (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711836)

lolwut, because deregulation has done such wonders for the financial and energy sectors. Likewise, the problem we've had with the net is a lack of regulation rather than too much of it. The solution to not enough regulation has never, ever been less regulation. The firms like MS and the ISPs that do very little to curtail the soft targets aren't going to get better knowing that they'll face even less regulation.

Re:How about this... (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711916)

Bullshit. The financial sector isn't deregulated in the least, it is still insanely regulated. All we can say is that our previous version of regulations were working better than our most recent revision. The root of the problem is that we have a meaningless currency based on absolutely nothing, with that comes insane inflation. Why is it that people stay poor? A huge reason is that because we have a fiat currency, whenever you save in a bank, unless it has a great interest rate inflation + taxation mean that you will more likely lose more money than you gain! Mix that with tax laws and regulation designed to protect the rich and those with lobbyists rather than making them accept personal responsibility. And no we don't need "regulations" to do that because regulations can be and will be gamed to achieve gain.

Our energy sector is insanely regulated also. The BP oil spill wasn't caused because of deregulation but because the morons "we" elected to congress thought it was a good idea to artificially cap liability.

Likewise, the problem we've had with the net is a lack of regulation rather than too much of it.

So what are these problems with the internet that are because of a lack of regulation that will magically become better with regulation? In almost every single case regulation simply leads to corporations screwing the public even more because they can game them and the public losing in higher prices and less choice because it makes it harder to start up a business or to compete with established companies.

The firms like MS and the ISPs that do very little to curtail the soft targets aren't going to get better knowing that they'll face even less regulation.

MS pretty much lives on the regulation we call software patents and copyright. ISPs got the way they did by screwing the public by taking money to provide internet access and then unilaterally changing the definition of the internet to their own interests.

We don't need regulation there, we need sane patent reform, we need a return of sane copyright, we need a correct definition of internet, we need to end all public handouts to businesses, etc.

When consumers have choice they will be more effective than "regulation" ever will be. The problem is regulation almost always reduces chocie.

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712022)

"When consumers have choice they will be more effective than "regulation" ever will be. The problem is regulation almost always reduces chocie."

There will never be choice in the US regarding internet. At least, not until some insanely different technology is invented. Currently, it doesn't look like that is going to happen in our lifetimes.

Why?

It costs money. A lot of it. Running multiple identical cables to your door, just for the sake of competition, is not efficient nor practical, and it's not going to happen for good reason. Deregulation just means that the people who own the one or two cables that do exist are free to rape you for all you can reasonably give them, and give you as little as they want in return. We are ALREADY seeing this happen, so don't go claiming it is somehow not the case.

Is there problem regulation? Yes, there is. There is a lot wrong with giving out artificial monopolies to ISPs in places where none is needed to motivate installation of the wires, and I have horrible problems with the fact that it seems cities cannot give internet to their population without being sued by some private company. On the other hand, I'm sure you think that cities providing internet is evil, because it runs counter to "the free market..."

Get some perspective, though. A few pieces of bad regulation does not make the whole concept bad, nor does it make the alternative any better. Libertarians would love to believe that if the government didn't exist, everything would be great: sorry, no. The government you at least superficially elect, but monopolies you have no say in. You cannot vote with your feet if you have only one option. It has been proven time and again that when infrastructure is handed to private interests, with no public competition, bad things happen. 10 points to you if you can figure out why that's the case.

'Our energy sector is insanely regulated also. The BP oil spill wasn't caused because of deregulation but because the morons "we" elected to congress thought it was a good idea to artificially cap liability.'

And which party did you elect to do that? Oh, right, both the evil democrats and the free-market republicans [house.gov] . Gee, I wonder if they had any ulterior motive...

Or how about the current one, that is working against that? [reuters.com]

Re:How about this... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712170)

It costs money. A lot of it. Running multiple identical cables to your door, just for the sake of competition, is not efficient nor practical, and it's not going to happen for good reason. Deregulation just means that the people who own the one or two cables that do exist are free to rape you for all you can reasonably give them, and give you as little as they want in return. We are ALREADY seeing this happen, so don't go claiming it is somehow not the case.

And yet somehow other countries have fixed this exact problem. Now I am fully aware the US is suffering from a massive case of Not Invented Here syndrome, but would it really hurt to look around once in a while?

*Force* the corps that own the cables to allow competitors to lease the lines. They've had a nice taxpayer-funded ride up till now, now make them face the music.

Of course first you'll have to get rid of all the corporate whores you "elected"...that might be a wee bit harder.

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712196)

That is only practical to a point. Yes, it does help, but there is still a large amount of redundant infrastructure. There are ways around it - say, force certain junction points to be government owned.... but that's socialism! /s

However, that still does very little to prevent corporate collusion which is a serious problem here. The big players always figure out a way, and even nationalizing a whole slew of infrastructure isn't going to prevent that. We need a public ISP, that's the only option I see making the private ones start to be honest.

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712254)

It costs money. A lot of it. Running multiple identical cables to your door, just for the sake of competition, is not efficient nor practical, and it's not going to happen for good reason. Deregulation just means that the people who own the one or two cables that do exist are free to rape you for all you can reasonably give them, and give you as little as they want in return. We are ALREADY seeing this happen, so don't go claiming it is somehow not the case.

Yeah, and that good reason is if/when those companies rape you through rate increases and service deterioration.

Is there problem regulation? Yes, there is. There is a lot wrong with giving out artificial monopolies to ISPs in places where none is needed to motivate installation of the wires, and I have horrible problems with the fact that it seems cities cannot give internet to their population without being sued by some private company. On the other hand, I'm sure you think that cities providing internet is evil, because it runs counter to "the free market..."

Yes, cities providing internet usually will cripple their citizens by either not funding it though use taxes, or by discouraging private industries from giving higher-quality internet. If they do fund it purely via use taxes and don't discourage private industries from competing, I have no problem.

The government you at least superficially elect, but monopolies you have no say in. You cannot vote with your feet if you have only one option. It has been proven time and again that when infrastructure is handed to private interests, with no public competition, bad things happen. 10 points to you if you can figure out why that's the case

Bullshit again. I have a great say in monopolies. Here is a hint, if I don't pay taxes what happens? I go to jail. I can't legally not support the government without making a huge, inconvenient move, which may be impossible. If I don't use a service I simply don't have that service. There are -many- ways I could go without supporting any major ISP financially. For one, I could use a cell modem for my internet thus eliminating Comcast, for another I could not have my own internet connection but use free connections in coffee shops and the like. If no one uses a monopoly, it dies. If no one uses the government they use that as an excuse to increase taxes/penalties.

If no one bought HP laptops for, say, a month, how long do you think until HP closed down their laptop division? WE influence corporations without us, they are nothing.

And which party did you elect to do that? Oh, right, both the evil democrats and the free-market republicans. Gee, I wonder if they had any ulterior motive...

Yeah, because we all know that there aren't any third parties people support. I vote libertarian.

Re:How about this... (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712488)

Ok, only one glaring flaw with your argument. If you go to the coffee shop and use the internet there, who do you think they get the connection from? You'll still be supporting the monopoly, only indirectly. And if everyone goes to places with free wifi, those cofee shops will have to get bigger pipes, which will either mean no more free wifi, or higher prices (which is the shop's right, I'm not going to argue that), but the net result is that they give more money to the monopoly ISP. The telcos got a lot of tax breaks to upgrade the networks, which they only half-assed. Yes, there are some small ISPs that do a great job maintaining and upgrading networks (usually these are rural telephone co-ops, the one in my area has had FOIS to most of thier customers for years, and are in the middle of rolling it out to all of them). But to say that the answer is to not support the major telcos by going to coffee shops and using the connections there is kinda silly, since the coffee shops get internet from somewhere (I'm not aware of any coffee shops running a backbone connection, and I would love to see a list of those who are operating as backbone carriers). Sometimes the answer, unfortunately, is the government (after all, the Interstate Highway system isn't all bad)

Re:How about this... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712068)

ISPs got the way they did by screwing the public by taking money to provide internet access and then unilaterally changing the definition of the internet to their own interests.

As someone here said to me (with a very good reason), the ISP business is a natural monopoly. How do you fix that without regulation?

Re:How about this... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712094)

It is not a "natural monopoly" any more than a cell provider is a "natural monopoly". There are lots of room for competition in the ISP market. Anytime we call something a "natural monopoly" we open it up to be an abusive monopoly. Ever try to settle a bill dispute with a water company or power company? Its not an easy experience because we've basically forbidden any competition possibilities, you either pay them their rates no matter if they are calculated correctly or not, take them to court or have no water/power. We don't need to extend that status to ISPs.

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712112)

Cell phone companies have no physical limitations. Stick another dish on that tower, and you're good to go. There is also nothing stopping you from building another tower somewhere else. It could be argued that there is only so much EM spectrum, but that isn't really a point of interest.

ISPs, on the other hand, deal with physical connections from your house to the backbone. Every new player in that market means a new chain from one end to the other. That means a few million dollars. Where is this money going to come from? Thin air? How about the logistical problems of running a bale of wires to every house in every subdivision?

What do you propose, exactly? You seem to just be railing against the government and saying that somehow the free market will take care of that. I want you right now to tell slashdot how, EXACTLY, it will do that. What's the plan, chief?

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712144)

Um, you run it the same way you run every business. You get capital from the bank, run cable through someplace small, like a neighborhood, rent space on the cable from a major ISP or get enough capital to run your own line.

An ISP is really no different than any other business that needs lots of capital like a pawn shop or the like. You focus on quality in a small geographical area then you move out from the center.

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712262)

"Magical money" is the answer to a social problem yet again. Competitors will come out of the woodwork and be given the tens of millions required to compete with the monopolies who have more resources than the banks, all while we blow it on something that has a net zero gain to society. It is "free market" life support and nothing more; a (futile) attempt to usurp a natural monopoly by taking away what could be spent on actually improving the situation. But it will solve all our problems. Just get rid of the government, trust us!

Gotta love the libertarians.

Re:How about this... (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712294)

Ok, name me something that has been truly "solved" by the government not relating to prevention of force and fraud that hasn't had free-market solutions that blow the government system out of the water.

Lets see here:

The USPS is a complete and utter mess filled with idiot workers and BS policies for no reason whatsoever and ever-increasing rates. Nearly always Fed-Ex or UPS does a better job of doing, well just about everything.

Etc.

Re:How about this... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712396)

Actually, around NYC, I would rank them as USPS > UPS > FedEx, and in Silicon Valley, FedEx > USPS > UPS . The libertarian idea that USPS is a failure usually comes from people that have never actually used it. I ship and receive about 90 packages per week so by now I would know...

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712456)

Ok, as a "casual" user of USPS I can tell you they suck.

Number one is they think they needed to change my home address not once, not twice, but three times. Ranging from things like changing "street" to "terrace" then from "west" to "east" all really without notifying... anyone else. So my city taxes got sent to the wrong address, I kept getting magazine subscriptions months late, and general chaos. Number two is that they leave terrible letters and stop delivering my mail because there is "too much snow" in front of it in the winter. But its not my snow, no, the city decides to generally pile up snow right in front of my mailbox, now its not hard to get to or anything, but I suppose when you get paid a government employees paycheck, its easier to stick a note on my mailbox than to just put my mail in it... And number three is that they won't ever take my mail out of my mailbox! Their rules say to keep your flag up if you have mail so I "mailed" a large amount of invitations and put up the flag. I returned from work to see my flag still up and my mail dumped on top of the letters I had to send out...

Now, I haven't had 100% absolutely perfect experiences with FedEx/UPS but they have been a million times better than USPS.

Re:How about this... (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712670)

As a casual user of USPS and Fedex overseas, I find USPS the best fro delvery time by far.

Isn't it great when people use anecdotal evidence?

Slashdot should have a -1 deluded libertarian mod.

Re:How about this... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712616)

I dunno. I'm not convinced that Fed-Ex or UPS would be able to move letters across the country for 44 cents even if they were allowed to.

You'd probably pay $1.50 or $2.00. Though you would get a guaranteed arrival date...

Re:How about this... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712466)

ISPs got the way they did by screwing the public by taking money to provide internet access and then unilaterally changing the definition of the internet to their own interests.

As someone here said to me (with a very good reason), the ISP business is a natural monopoly. How do you fix that without regulation?

How do you know that the ISP business is a natural monopoly? The only reason we have ISP monopolies is because the government would not allow more than one cable company to compete in an area when cable was first being installed.

Re:How about this... (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712308)

The financial industry isn't regulated to substantive degree. Which is what led to the great recession. Between the fraud, theft and dealing with securities which exceed the GDP of every nation the effect was shockingly similar to if there were no regulations in place at all.

Likewise, energy companies haven't gotten the message that they're being regulated. The recent BP debacle is hardly the only major accident in recent years due to a lack of care. There was the on down in Texas and one up here in WA, and those aren't the only ones. They also charge us more for gas in Seattle than they do in pretty much any other part of the state, even though the only reason is that they're not being told that they can't do it.

As for MS, they've seen some regulation granted, but it's obviously not enough, they're still engaging in unsafe practices like that patch Tuesday bullshit and pretending like vulnerabilities don't exist.

But, yes, clearly they're being regulated enough, right?

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712426)

The financial industry isn't regulated to substantive degree. Which is what led to the great recession. Between the fraud, theft and dealing with securities which exceed the GDP of every nation the effect was shockingly similar to if there were no regulations in place at all.

No, you can't draw that conclusion. You can certainly say that our current regulations aren't working but there are two ways of looking at it, one is we have not enough regulation the other is that you have too much regulation. I tend to favor the latter as the real reason. Like I said in a previous post, there are several flaws in our current financial system. The main reason being the fiat currency we have.

When you have a solid currency based on at least -something- tangible you get rid of some of the worst culprits because they don't make sense in an economy based on something. Number one is fractional reserve lending. Number two is it helps reduce inflation. Number three is that historically fiat and debased currencies have failed terribly, one needs only to look as recently as Post-WWI Germany or as far into the past as Athens in ancient Greece to see the problems with fiat currency.

We have a financial system that needs regulation because it makes no sense. Imagine if you have a rare baseball card, even a 10 year old can tell you why it is rare, because only, say, 200 were made. But suddenly they crank up the printing presses and make 2,000,000 more all identical! Suddenly that rare baseball card is worthless. But yet we do the same thing with our currency, if it isn't based on anything our "leaders" will abuse that power to the maximum and we will eventually have hyperinflation.

Once we get a solid currency, everything becomes much more sane and we can work on deregulating the rest. But that one thing must be in place to make sure everything else becomes sane.

Likewise, energy companies haven't gotten the message that they're being regulated. The recent BP debacle is hardly the only major accident in recent years due to a lack of care. There was the on down in Texas and one up here in WA, and those aren't the only ones. They also charge us more for gas in Seattle than they do in pretty much any other part of the state, even though the only reason is that they're not being told that they can't do it.

Well, first off I have little doubt that Seattle, being a pretty liberal state taxes gas/oil/etc pretty heavily which is partially to blame I have no doubt. Secondly regulation isn't always bad for the company but its always bad for the consumer because with regulation they get things like liability caps and the like. Regulation will always be gamed so corporations get nice breaks while charging high prices and discouraging competition.

Re:How about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712424)

The root of the problem is that we have a meaningless currency based on absolutely nothing, with that comes insane inflation.

right, cause insane inflation never existed back when our currency was backed by gold. oh wait, inflation was worse back then.

since we ditched the gold standard we've never once seen inflation as bad as it has been in the past.

and our currency is based on something. it's called oil.

Re:How about this... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712434)

The root of the problem is that we have a meaningless currency based on absolutely nothing, with that comes insane inflation.

Every country on the planet has currency based on nothing other than the word of the government. So to say that's the cause of the problem is a silly and pointless exercise in mental masturbation. Now we've all seen your e-peen and know it's lacking. Move on to actual issues, rather than some personal preference for the gold standard or whatever you'd like currency to be based off. Though we had plenty of inflation when we were on the gold standard, so don't let facts get in the way of your insane rants.

Our energy sector is insanely regulated also. The BP oil spill wasn't caused because of deregulation but because the morons "we" elected to congress thought it was a good idea to artificially cap liability.

BP wasn't following regulations at the time. As such, the cap doesn't apply. So, why bring it up? It seems like you are making up things to show how the government is bad, but the facts of the matter are the exact opposite of what you say.

So, what's the real issue? Why can't you debate what's actually happening, rather than lying about it to make it an easier bash? And worse, why do people mod up every nutter who mutters something about "fiat currency" "gold standard" or "meaningless currency"? I've never seen anyone use anything like that and actually have a logical argument.

In almost every single case regulation simply leads to corporations screwing the public even more because they can game them and the public losing in higher prices and less choice because it makes it harder to start up a business or to compete with established companies.

Yes, because things like OHSA work really hard at screwing the consumer to benefit the companies. "In almost every single case" is weasel speak. I could name 10 things that contradict you, and you'd state those as some of the very few exceptions. Regulations are often put there to screw consumers. But, more often, they are put there to help consumers. That companies hire lawyers to invalidate what they don't like and leave in what they do and the lawmakers don't go back and fix things doesn't mean they were necessarily placed to screw people, just that it was a natural result when large organized groups push for one thing with consistency and "the people" are so worried about where stem cells came from, whether gays can marry or how illegal marijuana should be that they don't ever pick representatives based on minor things like economic policies or what percentage of the 100 hookers he screwed in the last month were paid for by industry lobbyists.

Democracy: The government we deserve.

Re:How about this... (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712162)

The financial sector IS still highly regulated, one of the most regulated sectors of the economy. It was never deregulated; only the nature of the regulations changed, and that wasn't to promote freedom or capitalism, but to benefit certain people.

The deregulation of the net, of course, is the fundamental reason for it's rapid growth and incredible utility.

Re:How about this... (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712272)

O Really? So basically the financial markets are highly regulated, except when there not. The fact that the portion of the entire market that was regulated is dwarfed by the ginormous amount of money represented by completely unregulated instruments, is the sign of a highly regulated market.

Sorry, I must not get it, because I'd think that it would be the other way around, that a highly regulated industry would be mostly dealing with regulated items, rather than mostly dealing with unregulated items.

Re:How about this... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712432)

The problem with both sectors is not deregulation, but regulatory agencies that are not in fact actually inspecting to see if existing regulations are being followed (or to be more precise, ignoring violations of existing regulations).
I think government may be the only organization that when it fails to fulfill its responsibilities people seem to think the answer is to give it more responsibility.

Re:How about this... (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711848)

As much as I don't want a kill switch on the internet, I also don't want that same kill switch to exist in the hands of private companies. Without some government regulation, what is to stop the media cartels (which own the majority of ISPs) from banding together against sites they dislike? Google seems pretty unpopular among media companies these days. Who is going to make sure that we can still access Youtube 5 years from now? Net neutrality is not something to scoff at.

I also wouldn't object to forcing ISPs with threat of law to actually PROVIDE what they market. If they say it's unlimited, it should be unlimited, NOT "unlimited to a point."

But government is the source of all evil, right? Hand it over to Time Warner, Comcast, and Verizon... they'll take good care of your rights! /s

Re:How about this... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711956)

Look back in the past, how did Comcast/Verizon/Time Warner/etc get so large? They basically stole your tax dollars to provide internet access and "modernize" America (and in the case of Verizon they got lots of infrastructure from the breakup of AT&T). Without governments screwing with the free market we can make sure that the corporations serve us rather than the other way around. We need a government to prevent force and fraud, as you pointed out, the majority of ISPs/Cell Companies use fraud in their marketing and should be forced to either provide what they market or provide compensation.

What we need is a definition of the internet to include all of the internet to start out. Secondly we need to stop handouts to private companies all of them to prevent this from happening in the future. Eventually, our current infrastructure will be obsolete and Comcast/Time Warner/Verizon will be as laughable of companies as Atari and AOL is today. But in the meantime, simply allow for more competition in the ISP market, allow for true free market systems where if one corporation can use public land to lay cable though any ISP who wants to should be able to within a certain window. When we solve the inequalities there, it fixes itself. If an ISP blocks YouTube and there is a choice, everyone will switch. The problem is our government has limited the choices.

Re:How about this... (2, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712064)

Why, oh why, isn't there a "+/-1 Libertarian" modifier? (The +/- would be viewer selectable, of course.)

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712086)

Without those tax dollars, do you think they would have run internet to unprofitable locations? Uhh, I guess those small towns don't need internet!

What you should be asking yourself is why the government handed over money to private interests. Why could get not define the internet as a part of vital infrastructure like highways or radio waves? Imagine if that money was not given to a for-profit interest, but one with the goal of actually enhancing society. Oh, but that's socialism!

You totally ignore my point about the efficiency of multiple networks. Why should society be shelling out billions (either through higher internet or some other way) just because 'the free market works better'? One cable works fine. We do not need 5 or 10, which is what artificially creating a "market" where there is none will mean. That will cost far more than you seem to believe it will.

It's all about off-setting costs. YOU only look at the taxes, and act as if not wanting internet is a reasonable choice today. It isn't. We need to stop letting private interests trample on our infrastructure that you rightly point out, we paid for.

Create a public ISP in every market. Stop all handouts to companies. Watch them start offering better rates and better bandwidth in a month.

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712200)

Without those tax dollars, do you think they would have run internet to unprofitable locations? Uhh, I guess those small towns don't need internet!

Yes because its an untapped market, and technology can make it easy. The same thing could be said about anything, do you think without tax dollars they would put a Wal-Mart in almost every town? A McDonalds? A Pizza Hut? Etc. Of course we have a fast-food restaurant in almost every town, we have a Wal-Mart in almost every town, or if not then one within a few minutes drive.

If a few people want to start a small-town ISP they simply get some capital and lay some cable. If they won't then use WWAN to service small areas.

What you should be asking yourself is why the government handed over money to private interests. Why could get not define the internet as a part of vital infrastructure like highways or radio waves? Imagine if that money was not given to a for-profit interest, but one with the goal of actually enhancing society. Oh, but that's socialism!

Yeah, you mean like how that system of government has always worked. No corruption there in Cuba, China, USSR, etc.

Humans will be selfish greedy bastards. We can't change that. What we can do is make their greed work for the benefit of humanity. It was because of greed that humankind has created our greatest achievements.

You totally ignore my point about the efficiency of multiple networks. Why should society be shelling out billions (either through higher internet or some other way) just because 'the free market works better'? One cable works fine. We do not need 5 or 10, which is what artificially creating a "market" where there is none will mean. That will cost far more than you seem to believe it will.

But its not society, it is individuals who want better service. Why should society be buying overpriced hardware? Why should society be buying overpriced computer service. Society isn't. Individuals are. When you say "society" you make it think that we will be footing the bill. We won't it is the people who want to pay higher prices that foot the bill. Just because Best Buy sells overpriced memory and Geek Squad costs $50 to put it in doesn't mean that I have to pay that when I install my RAM myself which I bought from Newegg.

It's all about off-setting costs. YOU only look at the taxes, and act as if not wanting internet is a reasonable choice today. It isn't. We need to stop letting private interests trample on our infrastructure that you rightly point out, we paid for.

So you want a system with one ISP which will undoubtedly end up censoring, throttling or just giving crap service? Like I said in a different post, for the fun of it try to reason through an electric or water bill. You get terrible service because you can't change. If I get fed up with one ISP I should be able to pick another. What works for you might not work for me. Hence why we have choice. Its a nice thing. There is a reason you can go out and buy a tiny little hybrid Toyota or an 18-wheeler, different people need different cars and different ISPs.

Create a public ISP in every market. Stop all handouts to companies. Watch them start offering better rates and better bandwidth in a month.

Yeah, because that works so well for power/water companies. No. You get crap service, prices equivalent to gouging and generally a worse experience than ever before.

For fun compare the USPS service to FedEx or UPS, the USPS makes you jump through hoops, you get crap service and it seems yearly they want to raise their rates. You will get crap service with a public ISP.

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712312)

I'm not going to do a line-by-line reply, because I've already rebutted all your points. Except the fact that regulation = socialism, and that if we make internet public we'll be no better than the Soviet Union (how about roads? Guess we should just put up a statue of Stalin in front of the white house because they're public), which is so laughable I don't think I have to.

"Yeah, because that works so well for power/water companies. No. You get crap service, prices equivalent to gouging and generally a worse experience than ever before."

If it's true that the government can only do bad, why then do you think my suggestion would be a negative? I only said create a public ISP, not nationalize the whole thing (though I'd not object to that). If the private ISPs are so much better (they're not), you can use them. Choice is good, right? Or are you afraid of competition that isn't driven by profit?

"For fun compare the USPS service to FedEx or UPS, the USPS makes you jump through hoops, you get crap service and it seems yearly they want to raise their rates. You will get crap service with a public ISP."

Have you ever sent a letter via UPS? Go try. Tell me how that goes. I won't deny that USPS is not as good when it comes to package delivery, but it's not that horrible, either. What I wonder is how bad the market on mail/shipping would be if USPS didn't exist to compete with FedEx and UPS.

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712342)

If it's true that the government can only do bad, why then do you think my suggestion would be a negative? I only said create a public ISP, not nationalize the whole thing (though I'd not object to that). If the private ISPs are so much better (they're not), you can use them. Choice is good, right? Or are you afraid of competition that isn't driven by profit?

Because in general, a public anything ends up bullying the private sector by effectively forcing them to conform to their methods or by requiring the public to pay a tax even if they don't use it they still pay for it.

The problem is, there is no major public thing that I know of that does not either bully the private sector or require payment by those who don't use it and funding it purely with a use tax.

Have you ever sent a letter via UPS? Go try. Tell me how that goes. I won't deny that USPS is not as good when it comes to package delivery, but it's not that horrible, either. What I wonder is how bad the market on mail/shipping would be if USPS didn't exist to compete with FedEx and UPS.

Yeah thats because the government gave the USPS a legal monopoly on first class letters. So USPS can't send letters if it wanted to because the government fucked with the free market. Now how does that help your point?

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712444)

"Because in general, a public anything ends up bullying the private sector by effectively forcing them to conform to their methods or by requiring the public to pay a tax even if they don't use it they still pay for it."

Define "bullying the private sector" - because from your incredibly vague claims there, I'd say it's a good thing.

"The problem is, there is no major public thing that I know of that does not either bully the private sector or require payment by those who don't use it and funding it purely with a use tax."

Roads. Mail (see below). Internet. Yes, internet. Municipal internet has on many occasions proven cheaper and more reliable than private. See here [cybertelecom.org] or here for a list [muniwireless.com] . I personally know people who use these services and will tell you how superior they are to the private internet in the same towns. Oh, did I mention how private interests like to sue cities for providing these? Yes, we can hand over out infrastructure to privates...

"Yeah thats because the government gave the USPS a legal monopoly on first class letters. So USPS can't send letters if it wanted to because the government fucked with the free market. Now how does that help your point?"

You just made my point, sir. A public organization has control of a market and has service and price that is as good as or better than the majority of the world's. NOT some kind of hell on earth, totally inefficient, money-bleeding, Soviet-like organization that libertarians go about claiming will result from nationalizing businesses. It proves that nationalized infrastructure works. So why don't we try with internet?

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712484)

Define "bullying the private sector" - because from your incredibly vague claims there, I'd say it's a good thing.

As in saying "because we can give you 2.5 MB/sec, you have to also in order to run an ISP", or price controls and the like.

Roads. Mail (see below). Internet. Yes, internet. Municipal internet has on many occasions proven cheaper and more reliable than private. See here or here for a list. I personally know people who use these services and will tell you how superior they are to the private internet in the same towns. Oh, did I mention how private interests like to sue cities for providing these? Yes, we can hand over out infrastructure to privates...

Yes, but how were these funded? And I glanced through the documents and really saw no mention of hard facts like internet speed, latency, etc.

You just made my point, sir. A public organization has control of a market and has service and price that is as good as or better than the majority of the world's. NOT some kind of hell on earth, totally inefficient, money-bleeding, Soviet-like organization that libertarians go about claiming will result from nationalizing businesses. It proves that nationalized infrastructure works. So why don't we try with internet?

Ok, so apparently having no competition and there declaring that it is the clear winner proves your point? All it seems to prove that in a race even if you were the slowest one competing, you can still win first prize. And yes, USPS is a big pile of shit. I detailed this in another post, but I'll post it again here

Number one is they think they needed to change my home address not once, not twice, but three times. Ranging from things like changing "street" to "terrace" then from "west" to "east" all really without notifying... anyone else. So my city taxes got sent to the wrong address, I kept getting magazine subscriptions months late, and general chaos. Number two is that they leave terrible letters and stop delivering my mail because there is "too much snow" in front of it in the winter. But its not my snow, no, the city decides to generally pile up snow right in front of my mailbox, now its not hard to get to or anything, but I suppose when you get paid a government employees paycheck, its easier to stick a note on my mailbox than to just put my mail in it... And number three is that they won't ever take my mail out of my mailbox! Their rules say to keep your flag up if you have mail so I "mailed" a large amount of invitations and put up the flag. I returned from work to see my flag still up and my mail dumped on top of the letters I had to send out...

Re:How about this... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712540)

"As in saying "because we can give you 2.5 MB/sec, you have to also in order to run an ISP", or price controls and the like."

That is bad... how? You don't like competition from the government, because they actually compete rather than collude?

"Yes, but how were these funded?"

Probably not much differently than the private ISPs, given we gave them boatloads of money for nothing!

"And I glanced through the documents and really saw no mention of hard facts like internet speed, latency, etc."

Since we're allowing personal anecdotes now, I've heard some of their speeds are as good or better than the private options, and often far cheaper. I'd find examples, but I don't really feel like it. Educate yourself.

"Ok, so apparently having no competition and there declaring that it is the clear winner proves your point? All it seems to prove that in a race even if you were the slowest one competing, you can still win first prize. And yes, USPS is a big pile of shit. I detailed this in another post, but I'll post it again here "

So USPS is a pile of shit because of a anecdote on your part? Show me a country with substantially better mail service from a private organization or organizations.

No, wait, don't. I've wasted enough time on your bullshit. Come back to the table in a few years when you grow up and have something to offer the discussion other than "I don't like the government, the government is always wrong, even when it's right."

Re:How about this... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712570)

That is bad... how? You don't like competition from the government, because they actually compete rather than collude?

But that isn't competition. Competition is "we do what we want, you do what you want, we let the consumer decide" rather than we, your competition, dictate what your ISP can do.

Probably not much differently than the private ISPs, given we gave them boatloads of money for nothing!

So, we should continue a mistake?

So USPS is a pile of shit because of a anecdote on your part? Show me a country with substantially better mail service from a private organization or organizations.

We already have better systems for sending packages in the US, right now, called UPS and FedEx, however we have a monopoly forbidding the free market from doing things better than USPS because they are unable to send first class mail. Chances are, if that was removed, we'd see improvements in first class mail delivery comparable to the benefits already seen in package delivery by private companies.

Re:How about this... (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712702)

The experience in Australia with privitisation of public utilities has been in EVERY case lower quality of sevice and higher costs.

It has got to the point where only the most rabid believe having such services run by the govt is a disadvantage.

Re:How about this... (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712044)

How about this? A 20 year moratorium on introducing any new rules/regulations on the internet.
 

My problem with this is government has already proven it doesn't know much about advanced technology. If you take it away from them for 20 years, they're going to know even less, because you just know that they won't bother learning about it in the mean time, and if some wacky shit crops up that makes that 20 years unfeasible, it'd be nice if they had some kind of clue about what was going on, not to mention if laws about "real" cybercrime (hacking for identity theft, data theft, etc) become stale and inapplicable in some way, it'd be nice if they could be updated.

It'd be nice if bills in general were subjected to something like greater review periods, and must be reviewed by no fewer than 2 independent lawyers in the concerned field, and 4 subject matter experts, none affiliated to each other, and then bills would need to be modified to remove abuse potentials (or mitigate as much as possible) that the lawyers note, and address technical concerns raised by the subject matter experts. And every recommendation must be posted publicly, on an easily accessible website, you can get copies mailed to you if you don't have 'net access. I think if bills were forced to address concerns raised by subject matter experts, it'd help curtail a lot of issues, and having it all publicly available would help keep subject matter experts more honest.

You have to think like assholes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32711832)

How could I abuse this if I were a terrorist (or an advertising exec)

If it can potentially cause more damage by being tripped, don't put it there in the first place. And that's the case with having an Internet "kill switch".

The real answer is don't be so fucking cheap and stop running mission critical stuff over the Internet.

Re:You have to think like assholes (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712026)

How, exactly, would you run a power grid if not using networked computers? I guess you have the option of building your own internet, but why not just secure the one that is already there.

The simple fact of the matter is that until we have crackability performance tests for national security essential services, some big business is just going to wait for the disaster to happen and then take care of it. They would have to be performed by somebody with actual cracking ability, and have fines to back them up. Not saying all business is bad in this way--many will see that prevention is better than cleaning up a mess, but others will just wait for the mess and then try to clean it up.

I imagine the point of the kill switch is not the situations slashdotters are thinking of but more like all-out war with China or Russia, AFTER they have a few huge cyber victories--not sure worm that attacks some server. There is this odd assumption that if the President has the power to use it then they will. Think about all the things the President has the power to do but never does?

Re:You have to think like assholes (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712708)

"How, exactly, would you run a power grid if not using networked computers?'

The same way it was done in the years before the 60's? We had power grids long before networked computers.

Weird title (1, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711834)

Anyone else read that as "Sen. Bond Disses Internet 'Kill Bill' Switch"?

Re:Weird title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32711994)

I read it as 'No, Sen. Bond, I expect you to vote for it.'

Re:Weird title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712230)

Kill switch, bill
Kill Bill Switch
Kill Bill, kill
Bill, kill switch

Princes of Darkness (5, Informative)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711880)

No good news here. Bond's concerns about a cyber security bill can only mean he feels it isn't harsh enough. If he's in league with copyright's Prince of Darkness Orrin Hatch, who not too long ago wanted to scan all PCs warrantlessly and without judicial oversight automatically destroy those found with "unauthorized content" (read: entertainment), it shouldn't take too much in the way of imagination to predict his response to information he defines as threats to security.

- js.

Re:Princes of Darkness (5, Insightful)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712032)

If I could vote you up, I would. Any proposal even remotely technology-related co-sponsored by Orrin "Big Media's Puppet" Hatch cannot possibly be good. Sure the "Kill switch" proposal is terrible too, but whatever Orrin Hatch is thinking of is guaranteed to be worse.

Re:Princes of Darkness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712628)

Care to back any of this up or are you looking for affirmation via knee-jerk-6th-grade politics? Looks to me that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

it swings both ways (4, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711930)

Those that want a "kill" switch regardless of party better not get what you wish for. If a liberal is in charge of a kill switch, killing off conservative websites just remember that politics is like a circle, what goes around comes around. Personally, I wish a hands off approach to the internet under purely 1st amendment grounds. "Congress shall make no law..." what part of that do those pinheads not understand. With the good, comes the bad. 3/4 of the crap on tv, radio, internet, magazines I don't care for, but I'd rather it be left to the market to figure out, instead of some idiot politician to say if it should be banned.

Re:it swings both ways (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712012)

Bill Gates: He said they go both ways.
Ted Turner: Like a bisexual!
Michael Eisner: Thank you, Ted, that was the joke.

Re:it swings both ways (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712532)

Personally, I wish a hands off approach to the internet under purely 1st amendment grounds. "Congress shall make no law..." what part of that do those pinheads not understand

Well the majority of liberals believe that the constitution is a living, breathing document, as such open to all sorts of wild interpretation. The majority of conservatives believe that the intent of the document is as it's stated. Now if you get into the politics, you'll find that most incumbents are just screwed up and can't think of it in either way; rather the only way they can maintain their job.

I blame people who don't have a clue about politics, and aren't interested.

Re:it swings both ways (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712792)

Well the majority of liberals believe that the constitution is a living, breathing document, as such open to all sorts of wild interpretation. The majority of conservatives believe that the intent of the document is as it's stated.

Well the majority of liberals and conservatives believe that the constitution is a living, breathing document, as such open to all sorts of wild interpretation. The majority of libertarians and other third parties believe that the intent of the document is as it's stated.

FTFY

Bill O'Reilly: I don't care about the Constitution

Trucks and tubes. (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32711998)

The entire thing stinks to high heaven. These guys still think of the Internet as of tubes and trucks and who the hell knows what else, but it doesn't matter. The important thing is that this series of tubes and trucks is bothering them something awful.

They can't control dissemination of information on it like they do on TV. Anybody can just start a blog or a forum and discuss policy and worse, they can share actual information, the kind that government prefers you not to pay attention to... here is something shiny for you.

They need a kill switch, and when they say that, they likely mean a kill, as in Minigun type of kill switch.

Take this new cybersecurity bill, add the Trusted Security in Cyberspace proposal [slashdot.org] , involve the DHS, factor in Gitmo and rendition, multiply by Secret Service getting an 'upgrade' (from the same Lieberman ideas by the way), you are going to have a very neat 'kill switch'.

This 'cybersecurity' nonsense is supposed to be able to expire 120 days after execution, well, just make the emergency last longer, have the president sign an order or whatever it takes. Actually 120 days is enough to push through any kind of agenda if there are no opposing voices at all, and TV opposes nothing (except for clowns, but who listens to clowns, right?

They just want to stop you from being able to get and discuss any information that may end up hurting their agenda, and they have plenty of agenda.

Where's the "Slashdot" Attitude??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32712000)

You're going to just roll over?
Where is the discussion about how we won't take it?
How can we route around this and keep our connections up?
Wi-Fi Mesh Networks, BBS systems, Cell Phone data, string your own lines, shortwave packet radio, alternate DNS systems, etc...

Re:Where's the "Slashdot" Attitude??? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712110)

The trouble is network effects: The internet is useful because huge numbers of people have relatively cheap access to it. This makes it easy for interested parties to find each other for all sorts of purposes, and exchange information. It also has the advantage of being among the more "geography-independent" communication networks available. Transnational voice calls cost money. Transnational packets incur slight additional latency.

If you already have multiple parties who know one another, and wish to exchange information, and(ideally) are either in reasonably close proximity or have nontrivial means and technical know-how, building an independent network is not hard.

For short distance work, Wi-Fi meshes are pretty good, and are fairly cheap and easy to set up. Running hardlines is more reliable(assuming you have control over the necessary path); and reasonably practical for short distances.

Assuming it isn't being jammed, and you have ham skills and tools, packet radio is a lot slower; but better for long-range work.

Alternate DNS systems are doable enough; but are a useless toy unless the people doing the blocking are severely clueless. Cell data is similar. If anything, anything going over a cell network is likely to be even more tightly controlled than stuff going over landline.

The problem in all of these cases, though, is that the alternate systems lack the network effects of the internet. You either have a closed alternate system, which is reasonably secure; but only works with people you already know, and is largely useless for connecting you to new ones; or you have an open one, which is exquisitely vulnerable to infiltration by whatever sinister forces you are concerned about. Non-internet communication with people you already know is by no means useless; but it is not a substitute for internet communication. "Open-access" non-internet setups are more internet like; but also much more vulnerable to attack.

"The Internet is under attack! What do we do?" (4, Interesting)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712102)

"Kill it!"

Um, what?

How about instead funding some free-to-all open source antivirus, anti-spyware, etc. programs to hinder the spread of malware and botnets? And kill spammers while you're at it. Yes, those you can kill.

Re:"The Internet is under attack! What do we do?" (1)

exabrial (818005) | more than 3 years ago | (#32712760)

Just like the state DMV, FDA, BATF, FBI, CIA i'm sure it'd be perfect and be up with the latest technology and be nimble to act to new threats. I think this a great idea in theory, but the government does not have competition, it doesn't need to make a profit, so there will be no motivation to make the product the absolute best without the project turning into a money sinkhole.

To take your idea and twist it so the laws of macroeconomics favor it, perhaps a government run competition (X-Prize or DARPA like) every year for the national antivirus standard...Kinda like how AES was established. Thoughts?
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