Keeping with the Obama big government script, a bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to grant the federal government “absolute power” to shut down the internet and the president the authority to seize control of it in the name of national security.
Under the law (Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010) companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms selected by the U.S. government “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Those that don’t comply will be punished.
The government will have the power to force private companies to participate in “information sharing” with the feds and the authority to monitor the “security status” of private sector websites, broadband providers and other internet components, under the measure introduced by “independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Yet another new government agency (National Center for Cybersecuirty and Communications-NCCC) will be created to police the industry and any company that “relies on” the internet, the telephone system or any other component of the “information infrastructure” will be subject to its command. The new NCCC will have no less than two deputy directors and liaison officers to the Defense, Justice and Commerce departments as well as the Director of National Intelligence.
Technology experts worry that arming the president with an internet “kill switch” could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency. Lieberman points out that his measure is essential because the nation’s “economic security, national security and public safety” are at risk from “enemies” that include “cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals.”