What's the Deal With Obama's Internet Killswitch?

by Benjamin Domenech on 6:01 am June 18, 2010


If you’re curious about the details of the so-called “internet killswitch,” check out this piece, where TNL’s own Bruce Henderson laid out the details last year:

Translation: the US government bureaucracy will be spending your tax dollars to figure out private networks, find choke points and places where they can control the flow of communication. Furthermore, companies (such as your ISP) are going to be required, by law, to supply the federal bureaucrats with whatever network, account, usage and history information they deem appropriate. All in the name of cyber safety, you see.

If that were not enough of an outrage, the bill also establishes federal indoctrination and certification for cyber security professionals. It would require companies that the executive branch deemed “critical” to adopt restrictions on who it could hire to work with network security to a limited pool of those who had undergone government training and certification. You might assume from this that the private sector was completely lacking in any certification or training in cyber security. In fact there is a robust and growing business (aka a “free market”) for this type of training that the government would now control and regulate.

The body of this bill continues to reflect a basic lack of understanding of the technology behind the internet. It is not just a series of “tubes” that are connected end to end. There is no good place for the government or any other body to put a spigot that will allow them to “turn it off”. Many companies and organizations are connected through multiple network channels, using independent physical network paths and independent network service providers.

Read the whole thing.

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