U.S. Bill Internet Kill Switch - It's something that's been discussed before: am Internet "kill switch" to give the President power to reduce the impact of a cyber-attack. While it passed a committee on Dec. 15, 2010, the full Senate did not act on the measure. Despite what may appear to be bad timing, based on the actions of Egypt, it appears the bill is set to return.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). In a email to Wired sent last Friday, Collins said the following:
“My legislation 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.”
There has been rampant speculation that the U.S. could already do the sort of disabling of the Internet that Egypt has done, but those thinking along those lines have to remember the scale differences between the two countries. ISPs in the U.S. are not restricted to just a few, as in Egypt. On the other hand, the sort of "kill switch" being mentioned in the legislation will make it far easier to close down the Internet in the event of a cascading cyber-attack.
U.S. Bill Internet Kill Switch