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Internet Kill Switch Back On the US Legislative Agenda

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the reasonable-measures dept.

Censorship 376

suraj.sun points out a story at Wired that US lawmakers have revived the idea of a government-controlled "Internet Kill Switch," which reads, in part: "The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later. 'My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,' Collins said in an e-mail Friday. 'It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.'"

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376 comments

It is just data! (2, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045682)

You cannot hurt anyone with data. There is no such thing as a threat via the internet.

Re:It is just data! (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045740)

Except that things that can hurt people are. For reasons I can't comprehend there's an awful lot of stuff that's connected to the internet which could result in casualties if it was attacked.

Re:It is just data! (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045804)

Then take if OFF the internet.
    - Both the central Union government and the Member States have the power to regulate the monopolies we call utilities. Pass a rule forbidding them from connecting their power stations online. Ditto any other critical services, like water and sewer.

Re:It is just data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046174)

What is amazing is if we disconnect the net those things go down anyway. Wouldn't it make more sense to disconnect those things which are being attacked? The only conceivable reason to disconnect the net as I see it is to quell dissent in the event of an uprising by the people or by some entity whom wished to eliminate the current democratic system. It would be illegal under the constitution to do any kind of actual disconnection so as far as I'm concerned. Communication is by its very nature speech the way the constitution is written. We have a right to free speech and a right to associate with whom we please. The government has and does violate the right to association though regularly. Certain rights can not be overturned merely due to school, imprisonment, etc. Unfortunately the government makes exceptions and the few who would rise up to react in any manor that would correct this error are imprisoned.

Re:It is just data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045834)

Like Breathing Machines, Heart regulators, and ....
I'm out of examples.
It sounds like a local problem, not a national problem.
Perhaps there should be a "Killswitch" for individual machines.
Because clearly people are unable to simply unplug Ethernet cables.

Re:It is just data! (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046104)

Breathing machines, heart regulators and whatever else you have planned won't stop functioning if the internet was shut off.

Re:It is just data! (2)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046200)

Name one thing you know firsthand is connected to the Internet and could result in casualties if attacked. Sure banks computers could crash, sure amazon could go down, but ICBMs are not going to launch and the power grid wont go down. If anything that could actually cause casualties is connected to the Internet then it shouldn't be.

Re:It is just data! (5, Informative)

mlyle (148697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046240)

Name one thing you know firsthand is connected to the Internet and could result in casualties if attacked. Sure banks computers could crash, sure amazon could go down, but ICBMs are not going to launch and the power grid wont go down. If anything that could actually cause casualties is connected to the Internet then it shouldn't be.

http://www.devicesworld.net/ [devicesworld.net]

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) technology provides the means to monitor and control distributed systems from a central location. They are used widely in the telecommunications, power distribution, oil & gas and transportation industries. SCADA systems are typically deployed with dedicated communication infrastructure, proprietary software and hardware.

iSCADA, on the other hand is an Internet-based SCADA solution that utilizes the public Internet infrastructure as the data communication medium. It uniquely combines traditional SCADA technology with the open data communication protocols, services and data formats of the public Internet to deliver cost-effective and easy-to-use SCADA solutions. With iSCADA, it is now feasible to monitor and control virtually anything from anywhere in the world.

This kind of stuff is getting deployed more and more.

Re:It is just data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045790)

The TMI incedednt was caused by nothing more then incorrect data. Can you imagine the amount of havoc that bad data could cause in the cocpit of a jumbo airliner twice over as we add automated system to the already cumputer-controlled outputs? thosands die ever year because they are given the wrong medication, just more bad data. In combat theaters, quality of intel can mean who lives and who dies.

All of these are systems that should probibly not be attached to the internet, but data drives decisions, many of which can be life-or-death.

Re:It is just data! (1)

alendit (1454311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045814)

You cannot hurt anyone with data.

Asakura Ryoko may concure.

Re:It is just data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046034)

And as I recall, it didn't work out too well for her, did it?

Re:It is just data! (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045868)

You cannot hurt anyone with data. There is no such thing as a threat via the internet.

If you can't hurt anyone with data, does that also mean that you can't hurt anyone by restricting data? Does that also mean there is no such thing as a "threat" via an internet kill switch?

Re:It is just data! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046032)

It's a whole lot easier to kill you by restricting air than it is by not restricting it.

Re:It is just data! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046114)

If you can't hurt anyone with data, does that also mean that you can't hurt anyone by restricting data?

No.

Re:It is just data! (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046036)

You cannot hurt anyone with data. There is no such thing as a threat via the internet.

Ya, nevermind that whole, 'pen is mightier than the sword' thing. It's exactly because data is so powerful that unsavory characters want to stop it. I don't know what is motivating these Homeland Security creatures, but it isn't a sane concern for their fellow men.

Re:It is just data! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046110)

You cannot hurt anyone with data. There is no such thing as a threat via the internet.

Um, yes you can hurt people with data. That's why we have libel and slander laws. It's also why we have various laws protecting the confidentiality of certain information. Data is information. Information is power. Power is dangerous.

Re:It is just data! (4, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046188)

No but we are at a disadvantage since we depend on private sector infrastructure which isn't coordinated enough to fend off a coordinated attack.

A government agency working with the ISPs could however respond to a systematic attack on our infrastructure and kill routes which are origins of the attack.

If a bank is receiving a denial of service attack to all of its servers it doesn't have the authority to order an ISP to start shutting down the source of the attacks. If however there is an attack under way they can notify a central agency whose job is to make an organized response to an organized attack.

Yes individual organizations need good cyber security response plans--but as we realized during the last economic crisis, just because an organization is critical to society doesn't mean it is acting in such a manner. Nor should they necessarily have to bare the cost of behaving as such.

Great idea! (2)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045690)

So when China takes over our internet, they can't use our machines to gold farm in World of Warcraft! Sarcasm aside, what would the BENEFIT of such a thing be? All it seems to be good for is pretending we don't have a Bill of Rights, specifically the first amendment.

Re:Great idea! (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045986)

Sarcasm aside, what would the BENEFIT of such a thing be?

a) Someone posts to Slashdot, pointing out that countries are being run for the benefit of the elite; global rioting results.

b) Politician gets in trouble, corporate-owned media politely decline to cover it, but voters find out about it on the innertube.

c) Terrists invent a code phrase that makes people's heads explode when they read it.

d) Solar system passes through a cloud of interstellar gas that makes people lose interest in porn, threatening global economic collapse.

e) Uhm, I'm really having trouble thinking of good excuses.

Expectations were too high. (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045698)

And I almost expected this Congress to be a little different. Oh well.

Re:Expectations were too high. (3, Informative)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045734)

It doesn't stand a chance. All it needs is for one person to compare a sponsor of this bill to Mubarak and it should be dead in the water. You can't bring something like this up right after all this tumult.

Re:Expectations were too high. (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045858)

The timing is so dumb that one has to wonder.

To bring that up now suggest the recent election turn around has scared Both Democrats and Republicans into believing Egypt could happen here, and rather fix the problem they react with police state measures.

Or was this on track all along, with hopes of sneaking it through, and the mainstream press just finally took notice?
In which case it may well be DOA already.

You give Americans too much credit (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045928)

There was just a story on Fark about how Al Jazeera was doing most of the coverage regarding Egypt. They're not even aware it's happening, they're too busy trying to hold onto their lower middle class existence.

Re:Expectations were too high. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045992)

It doesn't stand a chance. All it needs is for one person to compare a sponsor of this bill to Mubarak and it should be dead in the water. You can't bring something like this up right after all this tumult.

Maybe it's a cleverly timed proposal by someone who doesn't think we should have one.

Re:Expectations were too high. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046190)

Maybe it's a cleverly timed proposal by someone who doesn't think we should have one.

Possibly, but the bill was introduced first back in December, when there was talk about Stuxnet and the supposed vulnerability of the US Power Grid, but well before the situation erupted in Egypt or Tunisia. I suspect it was sincere at the time, even if ill thought out.

The present lesson would/should make any rational person think twice about introducing such legislation.

It seems more likely that the only reason its here on Slash Dot or on Wired is because it suddenly dawned on people just how ripe for abuse such a law would be.

As such it might be a cleverly timed Exposé of a bill intended for another purpose (warding off a large state sponsored cyber attack allegedly), but which could easily be used as has been done in Egypt. In which case we owe Egypt a debt of gratitude for demonstrating exactly how this would/could be used.

Note: I have no doubt the Government ALREADY has the means to cause a similar shutdown at their disposal, its just that doing so would be illegal. It would only take a little bit of BGP route poisoning to accomplish the same thing.

A significant threat... Um, like the government. (5, Insightful)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045704)

Seems to me, the biggest threat would be doing EXACTLY what Mubarak is doing now in Egypt.

Re:A significant threat... Um, like the government (1)

datsa (1951424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045760)

Seems to me, the biggest threat would be doing EXACTLY what Mubarak is doing now in Egypt.

Seriously - could the timing of this be any more ironic? The US is copying from Mubarak's playbook, now?

Re:A significant threat... Um, like the government (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045994)

The timing is perfect if we want the bill defeated. Surely Congress will show some intelligence this time. Of course, based on their previous boondoggles, I'm not very optimistic. You know how power hungry they can be.

Oh, this was actually discussed last year, but it is just now being introduced. Don't any of you watch the news?

Re:A significant threat... Um, like the government (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046196)

Actually if you read TFA you will see it was introduced last year, and sailed though its first committee.

Re:A significant threat... Um, like the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045916)

The significant threat is you of course....

Re:A significant threat... Um, like the government (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046134)

No, Collins said it wouldn't be used like that. You can trust the government. If they say they want additional power, that they won't abuse, you can always rely on government to be true to its word, right?

Cyber emergency? Like what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045708)

I can't think of any online emergency that can not be fixed by ISP's :)

Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045722)

C'mon. What kind of serious "cyber emergency" can metal boxes called computers pose to us humans? Having a kill switch for the web makes as little sense as having a kill switch for newspapers or TV.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045742)

Falling profits in Hollywood! Loss of iron control over media messages!

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (4, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045762)

P.S.

It's also unconstitutional. I can not lay my hand on any power given to the Union Congress which allows them to shutdown the mail or the newspapers (old-fashioned type or modern websites/email). That power is reserved to the Member States.

If they think Congress should have that power, let the states pass an amendment FIRST granting that power, rather than create an Egypt-type problem where some future Caesar/dictator can squash the people with a simple flip of the switch.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046004)

It's also unconstitutional. I can not lay my hand on any power given to the Union Congress which allows them to shutdown the mail or the newspapers

Yeah, but those are mostly owned by the same corporations that own Congress, so they're easy enough to keep on message. But the internet still lets those scary citizens have their voices heard.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046016)

Hi Commodore6502! Sadly it IS constitutional, hell just about anything the feds want to do is allowed now thanks to the way they've perverted the Commerce Clause [wikipedia.org]. Thanks to the Commerce Clause they can bust pot growers in California even after the people of that state legalized medicinal pot, or even stop a farmer from growing wheat to feed his chickens [wikipedia.org]

So saying anything passed by the feds is unconstitutional is nearly impossible, since they can fit anything into their realm of control under the commerce clause.. And since the ISPs cross state lines it will be an easy sell to the courts.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046222)

This is so sad and true. In reality it IS unconstitutional. This is exactly what the framers wanted to prevent. If they knew that the commerce clause would be twisted so badly, they would have modified it a bit, I think.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (1)

Phaedrus420 (860578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045788)

a kill switch for newspapers or TV.

Or as much sense...
I'm sure they'd love to have it.

Re:Oh noes! I can't reach porntube! (rolls eyes) (1)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046208)

Not to disagree with you - a kill switch is a stupid idea - but I can think of at least two scenarios where those little metal boxes can directly affect people:

Payroll for a company is handled by some contractor on one end of the country, but the company itself has to send its data to that payroll agency, and they're on the other end of the country, so they use the public Internet (and some really good security protocol, one would assume) to route that data. If the two computers at either side of the country can't make their data exchange on time because some bird brain decided to attack either of the two, or any of the computers in between on the network, or because someone decided to throw this proposed "kill switch", then a few thousand soccer moms/dads don't get paid for a while.

If that's not good enough, consider the use of the Internet in coordinating relief efforts in far-off disaster areas or simply general humanitarian activities around the globe. Much of that help seems to come from American citizens; kill the Internet for a significant amount of time, and you kill off their ability to organize, move money around to help their cause, etc., and a lot of people who were to receive that help will suffer.

The above two scenarios are examples of the reality of the world right now; we depend on the Internet too much to just shut it off in the face of some perceived "cyberattack" (G*d do people still honestly use that prefix?), so it isn't just a matter of "what sense would it make?", it's more like "are they crazy?!".

See the bullshit round language ? (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045724)

... to work with the private sector in the event of ....

they got used to roundspeak and bullshit because you let them for all these years.

now all that passing an enemy-of-public bill requires is enough roundspeak, and sufficient number of catchphrases. (jobs, security, emergency, terrorism, nation, economy)

our democracies are shams.

I'm sure Hopenchange would veto it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045730)

Right?

RIGHT?

Re:I'm sure Hopenchange would veto it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045794)

Right.

Next question?

Re:I'm sure Hopenchange would veto it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046046)

WRONG! [youtube.com]

From Net Neutrality to Net Fatality (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045748)

I can't see any reasonable purpose for a government being able to shut down internet access in broad swathes; any internet "emergency" could (and would) realistically be handled quite well by the array of network providers involved in standing up the internet. Otherwise botnets would have killed us all long ago.

Re:From Net Neutrality to Net Fatality (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045832)

I can't see any reasonable purpose for a government being able to shut down internet access in broad swathes; any internet "emergency" could (and would) realistically be handled quite well by the array of network providers involved in standing up the internet. Otherwise botnets would have killed us all long ago.

The only substantial threat to the internet is censorship (whether by governments or corporations).

Besides, we've already seen that our telecoms are all too eager to help the government with illegal spying upon the citizenry during an "emergency". What makes anyone think they would hesitate to pull the plug at that same government's behest?

Re:From Net Neutrality to Net Fatality (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045952)

They would hate to pull the plug, since this is how they make money. In fact, pretty much every businesses out there would also hate them, as a lot of commerce is done over Internet, and turning it off would be extremely disruptive. This power is only useful to censors and dictators, and will be hated by everyone else. The bill they need to pass should read the opposite: Internet access should be an inalienable right, and the government must make sure that every human being on USA soil has free unrestricted access all the time. I am surprised that the Fed is not already moving this way. They could spend as much money there as they do in DHS, and unlike in DHS, that money would actually buy useful things like infrastructure.

Re:From Net Neutrality to Net Fatality (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046144)

Holy fuck, I have a paper cut on my finger -- CUT OFF MY HEAD, QUICK!

This is more likely to be exploited by an attacker (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045750)

than used for the intended purpose IMHO.

demand public oversight (1)

mixed_signal (976261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045752)

Many of the expanded government powers that have been sought (or implemented) in the last decade would be more acceptable with oversight directly by elected officials. As it stands now, most of the related decisions are made in secret... and that can't be good in the long run.

Good to know the government fears its people (4, Insightful)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045778)

Nearly all that actions taken lately "for our security" are identical to the ones a government takes when it's afraid its people will revolt because (via that old psych tenet called projection) that's what they'd be doing had they been treated the way they are treating us.

After all, who knows better how they've screwed us than the ones doing it?

Re:Good to know the government fears its people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046234)

Don't attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

Conspiracy theories aside it's possible that many of the people in government think it is in fact for our protection. It's mostly boogyman bullshit inside something they don't understand but that's where the stupidity comes in.

Sneaker Net (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045792)

We(tech types) have to think about how to have an marginally working internet without the cooperation of the telcos. Off the top of my head I could see an entire city's wireless routers all sort of passing things along. The traceroute would be from hell but data would keep moving.

I suspect that this is being developed right now by civil minded Egyptian programmers and engineers.

It could also be used in disasters and whatnot.

As long as a node here and there could contact the rest of the internet then various governments would lose the power presently exercised to evil ends in Egypt.

Message me if anyone is serious about this and maybe something could be brewed up.

Normally I am logged in as EmperorOfCanada but not at my computer right now.

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045996)

How do you do that wireless stuff secretly? I'm sure that along with the cell/internet/(radio? tv?) blackout, there are restrictions on personal wireless broadcast devices. The police don't need to listen to the traffic, just detect your router. "Police! This is a raid! We've triangulated a wireless signal to this residence. Nobody move!"

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046242)

Unlike some countries, the US does not have enough police and they don't have enough technicians to do that sort of thing.

Citizen this is completely different than Egypt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045808)

Because we'll only use it for your own good.

They're the bad guys. You can trust us.

We're looking out for you.

Re:Citizen this is completely different than Egypt (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045912)

Because we'll only use it for your own good.

They're the bad guys. You can trust us.

We're looking out for you.

Now just hand over your freedom and nobody will get hurt. Yeah right.

Re:Citizen this is completely different than Egypt (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046130)

What the hell, it's not like we're using our freedom anyway, is it?

-jcr

SneakerNet 2 (3, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045816)

We(tech types) have to think about how to have an marginally working internet without the cooperation of the telcos. Off the top of my head I could see an entire city's wireless routers all sort of passing things along. The traceroute would be from hell but data would keep moving.
I suspect that this is being developed right now by civil minded Egyptian programmers and engineers.
It could also be used in disasters and whatnot.
As long as a node here and there could contact the rest of the internet then various governments would lose the power presently exercised to evil ends in Egypt.
Message me if anyone is serious about this and maybe something could be brewed up.
PS I finally remembered my password.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045818)

If this kill switch were ever to be thrown, I would give America ten days before a horde of Facebook starved teenage girls takes the White House.

Are these the same people... (1)

datsa (1951424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045824)

who oppose net neutrality as "government intervention" on the internet? Just sayin...

Famous last words (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045836)

"It's for your own good". Whenever a government uses those words you can assume with some confidence it's for their good and not yours.

Another Egypt scenario? (5, Insightful)

rs1n (1867908) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045838)

In light of the recent incident in Egypt, it seems that the real purpose of such a kill switch is more useful as a means of censorship (a la big scandals that could make the US look bad, like Wikileaks). On a local scale, if I know my network is about to be attacked, I would cut off the main entrance into my network, while leaving the inside up and running. If they insist on a kill switch, why not just implement a similar scheme for all the "gateways" into government networks? As for each citizen's own access, I don't need the government to unplug my computer for me -- I can do that by myself, and am capable of making the decision to do so myself.

Egypt's Revolution is peaceful compared to (1)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045850)

If they were to pull the plug on the internet for whatever reason... I pity the government in charge.
Could you imagine the millions of outraged facebook users looting any burning. Add that to the online gamers...
Can you say governmental genocide?

I hate American politics. (1, Troll)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045852)

Every time I pay attention to American politics, I find myself thinking that Lee Harvey Oswald had the right idea.

Re:I hate American politics. (2)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046014)

Every time I pay attention to American politics, I find myself thinking that Lee Harvey Oswald had the right idea.

You must be fucking joking. The Kennedy's were pretty big fans of ending our never-ending war in Vietnam, and boom Bobby and Johnny both get shot in the fucking head. Beside some of their shady backdoor dealings, they at least understood the threat of the military industrial complex. Once Kennedy started pushing for more transparency and oversight in the CIA, well, his days were numbered. I am not saying it was an inside job, but what I am saying is when a politician actually stands up for Doing the Right Thing (TM), they usually don't last very long politically, and sometimes biologically as well. Asking to incite violence like you are insinuating is not the answer, and is only going to lead us down the road to stricter control and more loss of privacy and rights.

Re:I hate American politics. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046096)

The only problem you've illustrated is that the nutters never assassinate the politicians who actually deserve a bullet in the fucking head. As for the road to stricter control: we're on that road already. The natural course of all governments is towards totalitarianism by any means available and any means necessary.

Re:I hate American politics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046022)

>spend free time reading about USA
>don't know shit about own country
stay classy eurofags

Re:I hate American politics. (0)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046102)

I'm a New Yorker, not a European. As for the insinuation about my sexual proclivities: this dick isn't going to suck itself, so make yourself useful.

Time for a Tea Party (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045892)

Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen have revealed the gaping hole in National Security Interests... it's US! People still have the power to reject their government when they act en masse and with the benefit of unimpeded communication. If congress succeeds in creating such a kill switch, it might as well state that the intent is to protect itself from that which all legitimate power is derived, the people.

Suddenly I'm all aquiver with my new found power...

A Nation Full of Wankers (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045896)

Napoleon labeled England as a "nation full of shopkeepers." The Brits were so ticked off at that comment, that they proceeded to shove a weed up his ass at Waterloo. Now, if something really bad was to happen to the US, they would need to get them young folks away from their internet porn activities, and onto the front lines. So, shutting down the internet with the kill switch seems to be the right thing to do.

Semi-patriotic-kid: "Hey, someone cut off my Internet porn! I am now motivated to join the armed services, and kill some foreigners, who are obviously responsible for ruining my five knuckle shuffle."

Why is "Critical Infrastructure" available online? (5, Insightful)

beanbrew (1924590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045914)

"An example, the aide said, would require infrastructure connected to “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack."

Am I the only one who wonders what that kind of system is doing connected to the internet in the first place? Seems to me that if you want to protect infrastructure, the easiest and most sensible thing to do would be to unplug the ethernet cable.

Re:Why is "Critical Infrastructure" available onli (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046018)

"An example, the aide said, would require infrastructure connected to “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack."

Am I the only one who wonders what that kind of system is doing connected to the internet in the first place? Seems to me that if you want to protect infrastructure, the easiest and most sensible thing to do would be to unplug the ethernet cable.

Also, how are they going to know that the attack is imminent? Like, before they hear the rushing water?

Re:Why is "Critical Infrastructure" available onli (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046140)

Totally agree with the parent. Seems like a trojan horse of an example. Looks reasonable, but bares little resemblance to what could crawl out of it after hours.

Re:Why is "Critical Infrastructure" available onli (1)

Phaedrus420 (860578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046160)

You are right to wonder. I was just hoping that this aide was talking out of his ass, and this is the first thing that he thought of. One seriously hopes that these things have an air gap protecting them, but the "need" for this bill (Taking it at face value, for the sake of this point) seems to indicate otherwise.

Don't you watch movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046232)

Everything is online so we can have a real-life reenactment of Live Free or Die Hard.

"Our webs are down, sir. We can't log in!"
"Which webs?"
"ALL OF THEM. They've penetrated our code walls. They're stealing the Internet!"
*brain exits stage right*

But in all seriousness, there should've been like...two Internets. You have our current Internet that anyone can use, and then you have a closed system (is intranet the term I want to use?) that only government stuff uses. So, in the event that, say, the entire Internet we use is compromised, Hoover Dam and the like are perfectly safe and sound, free from attack.

I wonder. Why is it that when I think of "Internet can control Hoover Dam/whatever," I remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets on disability for being obese and operates whatever safety protocols from the comfort of his home?

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35045938)

Our government is the best one to decide what is good for us, especially for technology issues, since they have done such a great job so far!

Look at how safe we are now. Thinkof how safe we will be.

Sen. Susan Collins is an expert in this area and knows what she is doing so we should support her. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, so she's smarter than us.

O Magazine named Senator Collins one of six women who could run for President, so we should support her Internet plan.

We can trust her.

Honest!

What could possibly go wrong?

No, really. It's safe.

Don't worry guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045940)

I'm right across the border, I'll throw you a cable(3 ports left on my switch!)

Sorry, guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35045974)

As a Mainer, I offer you all my apologies on behalf of our senator. Snowe will almost certainly be in lock step with Collins. Feel free to vote us out of the country.

IPv6 solution (1)

xuniluser (996255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046006)

Would this trigger the need to migrate to IPv6 ASAP???!! Or what other alternatives out there you can share so the rest of us will be spared by this monstrosity?

Not your average senator (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046008)

Susan Collins is considered a "moderate", rather then wanting to expand government when her party is in power, she's always in favor of it.

If a cyberattack is really the problem... (1)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046024)

... they can just create a closed, non-internet connected network (please dont say it will be costly, its the government). They would not need to bring the ENTIRE Internet down in the country.

      This is all about censorship.

STFU or i'll turn off the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046044)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2565480/Funny/algore_stfu.jpg

USA Internet Kill Switch Turns on Nanny Filter (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046112)

I suspect the USA version of the internet kill switch would be more akin to turning on a nanny filter ... ISPs blocking sites / throttling traffic / packet filtering.

Plus, many websites would limit functionality...

Most likely, Google, Bing, and other major search engines would return highly censored results - they have the tools in place to do so, as well as the expertise, since already do heavy filtering in many countries.

And Facebook and other social network sites would, likewise, also strictly filter (again, the functionality in their systems is already there), as well use some psychology... ie. running a joint promotion with Zynga to require more frequent harvesting of crops in Farmville, maybe even chances to win cash - anything to keep people occupied so as to avoid reality; "bread and circuses".

Ron

Ahhh....bipartisan cooperation, at last. (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046122)

Amazing how good they are at cooperating with each other when the subject at hand is a double-edged sword....one that can be used either in defense of the nation, or in the manipulation, isolation, or monitoring of the American people.

So we won the Cold War, or...did the enemy just immigrate?

Congress shall make no law.... (1)

Chakra5 (1417951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046128)

... respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

The internet its the backbone of the new press, and the new place of public assembly where we meet to discuss ideas and give opinions.

Safe the individual systems that need safing. But keep federal/presidential mits off of the free exchange of speech and press. The Supreme Court should tab any kill switch as unconstitutional in my opinion. And frankly with all the hubbub about reading the constitution on the floor of the house, and the requirement for a constitutional rational included in every proposed piece of legislation, it seems like Mr. Liberman and Ms. Collins shouldhave some explaining to do even if it was introduced before the tea-party fluff. You'd think someone would consider discussing it's constitutionality.

Our government is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046164)

"[...] would not give the president the same power Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent"

Of course it would not give the president that kind of power. We're a Democracy and we uphold Human Rights all the time. We have a perfect track record of that according to Amnesty International. So such a switch would not give our government the power to oppress the population like the Egyptian government does, simply because our government is good and looks after our well-being.
What a shame that Mrs. Collins had to clarify this for the traitors who think our politicians can't be trusted.

What Would Charlie Sheen Do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046168)

But what does Charlie Sheen think of this?

What is Charlie Sheen doing now?
What would Charlie Sheen be doing if the net went down in the U.S.?

WHAT WOULD CHARLIE SHEEN DO?

THIS (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046172)

is why we need real time reconfiguring p2p mesh wifi networks NOW. We should nip this in the bud with technological prowess. Anybody with a cell phone, router, or laptop that has wifi should be able to carry internet service to and from any other two wifi points. Eliminate the ISPs. Eliminate the hardware infrastructure. Eliminate the possibility for government control.

Before it's too late (3, Insightful)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046178)

We should start developing contingency plans to thwart a potential internet blackout.
International dial-up, data feeds over the airways, carrier pigeon...whatever.
Why are they asking for this if they don't have some kind of plan in store. Terrorism 2.0 perhaps, as the fear of conventional terrorism has faded quite a bit since 2001.

When we will see a law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35046202)

...that bans the use of the word "cyber" once and for all? Enough of this cyber-insanity already! I'm so cyber-sick of hearing this cyber-goddamn cyber-word! Oh, that's right, there'll never be a sane law like that. One only has to look at "Congress" to see that something like that would never occur.

- Anonymous (cyber) Coward

The correct way (1)

mrcvp (1130257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35046248)

If you want a internet for emergency situations you make legislation that forces a first page in cases of emergency's you don't close off the whole internet. There really is no way to justify complete control of information other than forcing a certain view of the world on the people. And if the government wants to protect their own network make it so there is a kill-switch for closing of any government website for the outside not every site for everybody.

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