A proposed bill could effectively give the president an Internet “kill switch.”
Senator Joseph Lieberman has proposed the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), a bill that would give the president the power to control or even shut down the Internet in emergency situations. Citing the need for cybersecurity, Lieberman said in a press release that the U.S.’s “economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies — cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals.”
The bill requires that U.S.-based companies such as Google and Yahoo, as well as broadband providers and software firms, comply with any and all measures that the government sees fit in an emergency.
Technology trade association, TechAmerica, has already expressed worry at the level of control the bill would grant the president if passed — levels that could have “unintended consequences.” Other countries are also decrying the bill, fearing the impact on their own security if the U.S. were to shut down essential parts of the Internet. (via CNET)