President Obama gets power to 'shut down' internet

Internet kill bill gets approval

The US Senate committee has approved legislation which effectively gives President Obama the power to shut off parts of the internet when there is a national emergency.

The legislation is called Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act and will allow the President in times of national emergency to implement response plans for protecting the infrastructure of the web, as well as the electrical grid and telcom networks.

Kill switch?

Although there has been a lot of criticism of the bill, those who approved it are adamant that it does not give Obama a 'kill switch' for the web, with the senate explaining that "it would make it far less likely for a President to use the broad authority he already has in current law to take over communications networks."

The senate also explained: "Only specific systems or assets whose disruption would cause a national or regional catastrophe would be subject to the bill's mandatory security requirements."

And we thought Obama was going to be given a big on/off web switch to go with his shiny red nuclear button.

The bill is an update of the Communications Act of 1934, modernising the US government's ability to safeguard its cyber networks from attack.

Via Register


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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.