Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play

This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  terro 8 years, 5 months ago.

  • Author
  • #6026
     Don Donzal 

    This is a bad idea on many fronts. Not only do I not trust the gov’t to use this only for a severe cyber-attack, I’m very uncomfortable with the gov’t telling private companies what they can and can’t do. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say. Start giving the gov’t this power, and they never know when to stop. This goes for both Democrats and Republicans.

    Here’s an excerpt from Wired:

    The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.

    The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later.

    The bill is designed to protect against “significant” cyber threats before they cause damage, Collins said.

    And another quote showing an effort I support:

    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.

    Let the conversation begin…


  • #37710

    I wonder if Susan Collins and the HSGAC have heard of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution; just wondering.

  • #37711

    @mallaigh wrote:

    I wonder if Susan Collins and the HSGAC have heard of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution; just wondering.

    They don’t guarantee the internet, or electronic medium for freedom of speech.

    I agree it’s a bad idea, but I think time would be better spent finding ways to side step the government controlled parts of the medium.

    Call your reps if you’re in the US. They do this stuff because they forgot they have to fear the people. They fear the internet because they think it makes us uppity. If we can remind them we were uppity before the internet, like Egypt did after the shutdown, then it won’t matter.

  • #37712

    As I mentioned in the other post, if you are under attack, kill the servers, not the communication lines!

    Also, if we were to be under a nation wide attack, you wouldn’t need bills and laws to have the ISPs react. They would be loosing business, so if they have to shut down for a while, they would with or without Big Brother.

    To me in Canada, this looks like information control that may eventually lead to propaganda…

  • #37713

    I want to know why these controls (the Hoover Dam to use the example) are on the internet in the first place.  I think this legislation has the promise of being misused. 

    Anytime the government is given more power, it is reluctant to give the power back.

  • #37714
     Don Donzal 

    @H1t M0nk3y wrote:

    To me in Canada, this looks like information control that may eventually lead to propaganda…

    …and censorship of the opposing view.


  • #37715

    Wired has a wiki up now called Communicate if Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet

    Not much there that’s practical over the long term, considering the connection speed that you need to use most of the services on the internet at present. Seems like what you really need is a set of low-bandwidth-friendly proxy services that will strip all of the crap out of your webmail, news sites, forums, etc… so that they’re actually usable under conditions like these.

  • #37716

    back to the lynx days of web browsing? actually… hmm….

  • #37717

    That actually exactly what I was thinking. Unfortunately, I don’t think something like lynx can really handle a web page constructed with ajax, flash, javascript, and all that fancy stuff very well. If you could put a translator in the middle so that you were pushing the bare minimum of info over your connection, it might actually be workable. It would be almost like failing back to the state of the web from 10 or 15 years ago.

  • #37718

    Hey….maybe these things work in cycles….

    The newest release of Nmap did just add support for gopher in nse libraries!!! Maybe nmap developers and Fyodor know something the rest of us don’t! 😀

  • #37719

    I don’t think the US or the UK will like the feeling of looking control of media outlets, especially when you look at the impact of social media.

    For example in the UK there is a campaign group that is building momentum. UKuncut

    What I have found interesting is that this online protest group managed to force mainstream media attention and have been gathering followers/activists at a what I think the government must be thinking, shit what do we do with this, my bet is they would love to shut them down.

    Unfortunately the organised trade unions don’t seem to have yet harnesses the potential power of quick responsive communications to get things happening. Though I have seen a bit more use, which I think is encouraging.

    The protest I joined at the weekend about cuts to our education system, was also policed so badly and people where able to record this, upload pics and videos from smartphones there and then, which must be a killer for the gov as they then find it harder to put negative spin on the protesting in attempts to put down the campaign.

    It’s becoming a more difficult time if to be a “democratic” society and still bullshit your people. So all there seems to be left is to have a “fear” button, that can be used if it suits capitalist democratic societies. Just incase people decide to all take up their democratic rights at the same time, which is not good for profits.

    Interesting times.

  • #37720

    Does the gov’t have a the power to kill television or radio? It seems to me like this bill is driven out of FUD, and not any real need. I think it only makes matters worse, the threat of an EMP, a major blackout or an attack on the smart grid are real threats we face, why give the bad guys one more tool?

  • #37721

    Some (like myself) would say that they don’t have to kill the tv or radio. They’ve done a good enough job with them, that most of them act as propaganda, or edit out the real stories up front.

    (I can list a few examples if need be, but felt they would lead to a political flame war if I did).

  • #37722

    Agree with Chris on the propaganda points.

  • #37723

    Agree, I don’t know where you’re from all (mainly US i guess) but in france main TV channels have already be placed under the gov’t control. Same in other European country. And as i see this fake ‘eG8’ and the way gov’ts try to put internet under control, one more tools in their hands is not reasonable.

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