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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Lodewijk's Avatar
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    05.21.17 @ 06:59 AM
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    Default It's Not Just The Nuke Button We Have To Worry About Anymore....

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/comm...-in-egypt-u-s/



    Committee Passes Plan for Internet ‘Kill Switch’ in Egypt — U.S.



    Pending legislation that would grant the President of the United States the power to pull the plug on the country’s internet access in a declared “emergency” returned to the forefront this week on the same day Egyptians faced a nation-wide blackout designed to curtail widespread government protests. Egypt flipped it’s so-called “kill switch” — will the U.S.?

    The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The bill — called “The Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset Act of 2010” S.3480 — was approved by a Senate panel this week.

    S. 3480 would create a new government agency called the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications. The NCCC would have sweeping powers to control the Internet, including the ability to shut down the web for a 30-day period. Considering that at least 60% of Americans get their daily news fix from the Internet, this is a staggering proposal.

    Blaze writer Mike Opelka also notes that groups such as the ACLU see this proposed legislation potentially giving the President a giant kill switch for the Internet. Before the bill moves to the Senate floor for a vote, the ACLU has formally noted their disapproval.

    While Collins insists her bill would not grant the president the same powers as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak has exercised this week, many are wondering what kinds of implications the measure would have on Americans’ freedom.

    Many in the high-tech world join the ACLU in questioning the bill as well.

    PC Magazine‘s Dan Costa warned Friday that the United States must learn from Egypt’s “state-sponsored denial of service attack” on its citizens. “The surprising thing isn’t that a corrupt, authoritarian regime would launch this kind of state-sponsored denial off service attack on its own citizens. Nor that it is willing to jeopardize its economy by cutting its businesses off from world markets. No, the thing that surprises me is that the U.S. government has plans for its own Internet Kill Switch,” Costa wrote.

    The legislation was first introduced last summer by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and the former has promised to bring it to the floor again in 2011. It isn’t called anything as obvious as the Internet Kill Switch, of course. It is called the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.” Who could be against that? Anyone who’s watching the news on TV today, that’s who.

    The proposal calls for the Department of Homeland Security to establish and maintain a list of systems or assets that constitute critical cyber-infrastructure. The President would be able to be able to control those systems. He or she would have ability to turn them off. The kicker: none of this would be subject to judicial review. This is just a proposal, mind you, but it certainly warrants concern. Particularly given the heavy-handed example being provided by Egypt.

    The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Liebermann, I-Conn., previously sailed through the Homeland Security Committee just before the 111th Congress ended, and will have to be reconsidered in the new 112th Congress.

    Intended to protect the country against “significant” cyber threats, Sen. Collins says the bill “would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency.”

    “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat,” she added.

    Wired.com reports:

    An aide to the Homeland Security committee described the bill as one that does not mandate the shuttering of the entire internet. Instead, it would authorize the president to demand turning off access to so-called “critical infrastructure” where necessary.

    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.

    What’s unclear, however, is how the government would have any idea when a cyber attack was imminent or why the operator wouldn’t shutter itself if it detected a looming attack.

    About two dozen groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy & Technology, were skeptical enough to file an open letter opposing the idea. They are concerned that the measure, if it became law, might be used to censor the internet.

    “It is imperative that cyber-security legislation not erode our rights,” (.pdf) the groups wrote last year to Congress.

    On Friday, executives with London-based Vodofone came under scrutiny after admitting they had complied with the Egyptian government’s request to shut down internet and mobile phone access in Egypt. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Vodofone Group CEO Vittorio Cola expressed concern with the state-ordered blackout, but the company determined that the request was “legitimate under Egyptian law,” and therefore complied with the request.

    In addition, Al Jazeera reported that protesters on Friday destroyed Vodafone stores in Cairo, among other locations tied to the ruling regime.

    In the meantime, Costa insists that such a “kill switch” initiative could be devastating for the United States — not just because of the real impact on individual liberties, but also because of widespread economic ramifications:

    The U.S. telecommunication industry is much more complex and far more decentralized [than Egypt's]. To do something similar in the U.S. would require a lot more than four phone calls. There are simply too many connections inside the nation already for them to be silenced. Also, since our economy is more dependent on the Internet obstructing the free flow of information would be disastrous. Still, the push for a U.S. Internet Kill Switch is here, but no one understands the consequences.

    The fact is, no one in the U.S. should ever have the right or the ability to take the Internet offline. As an editor of a purely online publication (we made the switch from print a few years ago), it’s very clear to me that freedom of the press relies more than ever on the Internet. No one in the U.S.—or anywhere—should have the right to shut it down.
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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    You have to wonder if much of this legislation is not being brought to the forefront because of Wikileaks. Wouldn't they love it if they could just shut it down because of National Security.

    It would seem that if there was an attack against a specific target such as the Hoover Dam, their IT people could take themselves off line. It wouldn't have to come from the government. Then again, there has been talk about attacks to the electrical grid. Would we be able to stop it even if the President did have the authority?
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    I would say that the best days of the net are behind us. Governments (and business men doing bad things) are not happy that the citizens of a country are able to get access to so much "unsanctioned" information.

    They might blame it on cyber attacks, leaking of secret documents, pornography or phishing scams, in order to say they are "protecting" us, but if kill switches become the norm, it will only be to protect those clinging to power, hiding their unsavoury machinations.

    Besides, these people must be so arrogant in their opinions of our intelligence. Critical infrastructure, in the main, exists on independent intranet systems, as evidenced by the Iranian nuclear faciltites being targeted by the stuxnet worm. They had to get the bug into the network on USB sticks etc.

    This is the 21st century equivalent of banning newpapers and groups of people getting together for coffee and a "subversive" chat.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    This is the 21st century equivalent of banning newpapers and groups of people getting together for coffee and a "subversive" chat.

    Ho Ho,

    I'll have a half caf mocha frapuccino skinny and then let's overthrow something.
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  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    It is amazing we've gone this long without some sort of tax on usage or even different usage packages for the internet. Of course with the purchase of NBC by Comcast I am sure that the limitation of the internet is on it's way.
    I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.

  6. #6
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    04.28.16 @ 08:41 PM
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    Starting to sound like the U.S. Government is paying way too much attention to how countries like China and Russia operate. Being able to shutdown the internet is in no way a good thing for someone in a position of power to have. Not by a longshot. Being able to do that would cripple thousands if not millions of companies that alot of its major operations are done via internet. I know at the hospital I work, especially in my deptarment we wouldn't be able to operate very effeciently if at all without an internet connection, due to the fact that all of our information(patient tracking, maintenance requests etc) is done via an internet based program so that they corporate office or regional managers and what not can pull it all up where ever and whenever they need to. Not too mention our payroll. I think the head honcho's up on the hill need to realize that just because your shutting down joe schmo because he spent way too much time on wikileaks instead of jerking his gerkin, your also shutting down 60% if not more of the economy along with it.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Lodewijk's Avatar
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    Actually, in a weird way, this story kind of gives me some hope....

    While I hope that the bill, and the mentality, gets squashed, it shows me that the government still fears the people. Which is how it's supposed to be, and what the forefathers believed.

    When a government no longer fears the wrath of it's people, that's tyranny.

    A few years ago, I don't think I would have believed they had any fear, so maybe some things really are starting to change.
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Well, what good is the government if it can't exert as much of its power as possible to control every thing that happens or doesn't happen?

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Lodewijk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Well, what good is the government if it can't exert as much of its power as possible to control every thing that happens or doesn't happen?

    The BEST kind of government.
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  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lodewijk View Post
    Actually, in a weird way, this story kind of gives me some hope....

    While I hope that the bill, and the mentality, gets squashed, it shows me that the government still fears the people. Which is how it's supposed to be, and what the forefathers believed.

    When a government no longer fears the wrath of it's people, that's tyranny.

    A few years ago, I don't think I would have believed they had any fear, so maybe some things really are starting to change.
    The first line of your post made me a little worried.

    But you did say "in a weird way".

    The rest of your post made me nod my head (truly) in agreement. Had you said this to me, face to face, I would have muttered something like "Damn fucking Skippy".

    (Sorry, still don't know how to put emoticons into posts - would have been easier to do a thumbs up.)
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk stilleddiesangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Well, what good is the government if it can't exert as much of its power as possible to control every thing that happens or doesn't happen?

    When the goverment thinks it runs the people, rather than the people running the government, you have a dangerous situation on your hands. It's the road to tyranny and dictatorship.

    The more stuff like this I hear, the more I am in agreement for Lode's right to bear arms for the original reasons.
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Obviously the knowledge of my libertarianism isn't as ubiquitous here as I thought.

    I was being sarcastic lol.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Lodewijk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Obviously the knowledge of my libertarianism isn't as ubiquitous here as I thought.

    .

    I thought I sensed some sarcasm, but wasn't sure......around here, you never know.
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