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Monday, February 21, 2011

Senators Dump Internet ‘Kill Switch’ for Cyber-Attack Response - Bloomberg

Senators Dump Internet 'Kill Switch' for Cyber-Attack Response

The president can't use emergency measures to order an Internet shutdown to combat cyber attacks, according to revised legislation introduced yesterday by three senators.

The 2011 Cybersecurity Freedom Act -- proposed by senators Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent; Susan Collins of Maine; and Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat -- is almost identical to the legislation the senators introduced in June with two exceptions.

The bill adds language that forbids the president from shutting down the Internet during a national crisis. It also permits owners of major computer systems deemed as critical infrastructure, and therefore subject to Homeland Security Department regulations, to appeal their status in federal court.

Concern about giving the president authority to shut down the Internet generated opposition among some businesses and consumer groups after Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak blocked that country's Internet access to try to quell protesters. The original bill had vague language about an Internet-kill switch and would have faced problems passing the House, said Rep. Mike McCaul, a Republican from Texas.



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