Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Censorship Government The Internet United States Your Rights Online

Say No To a Government Internet "Kill Switch" 433

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the terrible-ideas-make-me-sad dept.
GMGruman writes "In the name of national security, the feds are considering a law that would let the government turn off the Internet — or at least order broadband providers and ISPs to disable access. InfoWorld blogger Bill Snyder explains why this is a bad idea. Does the US really want to be like China or Iran?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Say No To a Government Internet "Kill Switch"

Comments Filter:
  • by Inf0phreak (627499) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:18AM (#32677410)
    "It's bad civic hygiene to build technologies that could someday be used to facilitate a police state."
  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:19AM (#32677430)
    With common human mentality, the US government is just keepin' up with the Joneses.

    Just keep your people chanting "freedom" and "democracy" as you lead them off the cliff like lemmings to the sea.
  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:19AM (#32677432)

    Maybe we need a switch to turn off the government?

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:20AM (#32677450) Homepage

    I don't think quoting a Senator who is reviled by just about everyone, regardless of party affiliation, is indicative of the general consensus in this country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:20AM (#32677452)

    In Soviet Russia the dictatorship of the proletariat becomes US.

    Seriously I remember when I was a small child and I would remember my mother telling me, "Every day the USSR is becoming more like the United States, and every day we're becoming more like the USSR." An internet "kill switch" would shut off access to some of our citizenry's most honest and trusted news sources while allowing big media to continue to broadcast the drivel that passes for news that is solely optimized to protect their bottom lines.
    g=

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:22AM (#32677488)

    We all know what the real reason for this is: to destroy the people's main channel of communication in order to extinguish a situation that government deems threatening to its power and revenue. We're not talking about a threat from outside, but rather something from the inside which potentially compromises the elite and their positions.

  • by Xacid (560407) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:23AM (#32677494) Journal

    The goal of the EBS isn't to completely shut down TV and Radio - it's to facilitate emergency communications.

    The hypothetical effect of what this bill supposedly (I haven't read the bill myself) would completely trash our economy. We're in an age where a vast chunk of our transactions pass through the internet. Personally I think this "medicine" has worse side effects than the ailment. The only way I could see this being used to "benefit" America is in the same way Iran tried hushing their people during civil unrest and I'm sure that's the goal here.

  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:23AM (#32677496)

    This has made the news a bit overseas too. There were some doubts voiced that the US could effectively completely 'kill' the Internet. Sure most of the DNS root servers are located in the US, and they could SEVERELY disrupt it. But perhaps not kill it entirely.

    The summary here makes a bit more sense though - it's talking about shutting down ACCESS to the internet (at an ISP level) rather than necessarily the network itself. Either way though it would have a huge effect. Given that a large proportion of all servers/hosts are in the US, a nationwide shut down would affect many, many sites used by other countries as well.

    I can see two sides to the argument. One is that the US, as a single country, shouldn't have the right to shut down what is now a truly global network. The other is that the US military (well, DARPA) did invent the damn thing in the first place, funded by American taxpayers' money, so perhaps they have an inherent right to do this, in an emergency, if it's in the US' national interest.

    Thing is, I can't really think of a national security scenario that would be 'helped' by a total shut down of the Internet (as opposed to a targeted shut down of particular peoples' access or particular networks/providers/areas etc).

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:23AM (#32677498) Homepage

    ...how is this any different than radio and TV? Do we not already have the emergency broadcast system that can barge in and essentially "turn off" radio and TV services?

    The Radio and TV that they can interrupt are receive-only. They don't block phones, which people use to communicate. They shouldn't block internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:23AM (#32677512)

    Because we all know the same government that would be horrible to give a "kill switch" do would do a wonderful job with the thousands of pages of picayune regulations necessary to define and implement "net neutrality".

    Because our government is SOOOO competent.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:24AM (#32677518) Homepage Journal

    We don't have an emergency broadcast system via landline (that I know of). What is your opinion on the government being able to turn off the phone system in case of emergency? I think that's more relevant here. Broadcast Radio and TV isn't a two-way communications system. Even during 9/11 the government only asked people to make "only essential calls to free up lines for emergency workers".

  • by DragonFodder (712772) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:25AM (#32677540)
    When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything--you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. [Robert Heinlein]
  • Better plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:26AM (#32677554)
    Hey, why not instead encourage people who decided to connect systems that control critical infrastructure to the public Internet to practice stronger security? Or, perhaps to not connect a critical system to a public computer network?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:26AM (#32677558)

    The difference is that the internet RELIES on the consumer being non-passive; EG, it RELIES on the fact that the consumer is also a producer.

    What this means in a nutshell: The internet is much more than the boob-tube. It is more than newspapers. It is more than radio. All three of those are passively consumed; the reader/viewer/listener sits and absorbs content, but does not create content.

    As a result, cutting off newspapers, Television, or radio in a "National Emergency" does not impair the public's ability to communicate, which is a protected freedom in the united states. Cutting off the internet DOES impair that ability.

    That is why measures like this are unacceptable. It is also EXACTLY why the government wants to have that power; it forces all news to go through "approved" (controlled) channels, and allows complete censorship of ideas, essentially circumventing both freedoms of press, and of speech. (Two things that the US government has found difficult to cope with, given the uncontrollable, decentralized nature of internet journalism, and the rise of places like WikiLeaks.)

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:27AM (#32677564) Homepage

    Quinn: "I think the great struggle is all made up...the only thing we're struggling against is him."
    Debbie: "So wait, you're saying communism is bad?"
    Quinn: "What are you, two years old? Hasn't history proven that Marx's vision of an egalitarian utopia is unattainable, inevitably creating an oligarchy more oppressive to the proletariat than the bourgeoisie it vilifies?"
    Stormy: "I have to pee."

  • rolls eyes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:29AM (#32677600) Homepage Journal

    "But a proposed law that would give the government a so-killed kill switch to essentially turn off the public Internet is very, very worrisome, and it raises the specter of some future administration using that power to crack down on its opponents"

    no it doesn't unless you are a paranoid schizophrenic

    if we have some sort of warhol worm, everyone ranting against the kill switch will be begging for the president to cut off the internet

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhol_worm [wikipedia.org]

    the need to cut off the internet makes perfect sense IN THE RIGHT CONTEXT. which is what the law will be tailored to. but if you take the idea of shutting down the internet, and put it in the context of your deepest fear: say, censorship based on political ideology, of course the idea is frightening. AS IF THIS CONTEXT MAKES ANY SENSE. there is no slippery slope, folks, unless you remove from the law and its invocation the existence of thinking human beings. all jokes about big government to the contrary, that's absurd

    people: fight the encroachment of government onto our rights and liberties. but do it intelligently. taking a commonsense provision and imaging its usage in the most ridiculously hysterical fear-based context is NOT intelligence, and it reduces the noble instinct to defend liberty and our rights to a laughingstock

    our liberties and our rights and freedoms are utterly doomed if those who defend those notions are hysterical twits who cry the sky is falling about everything. be prudent and intelligent or don't bother: you only hurt the good cause

  • by cfulton (543949) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:29AM (#32677604)
    The US government liberal and conservative alike continue to create institutions and policies in the name of freedom that limit the actions of individuals to act on there own behalf. Someday soon someone who want power above all will use those institutions and policies against the masses. Then the new American police state will be born. But, I will bet that we will still advertise the country as free.
  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:30AM (#32677614)
    I disagree with TFA that "it raises the specter of some future administration using that power to crack down on its opponents". The bigger concern is that it could be used to stop the flow of information to the public during a severe crisis (natural disaster, military, political, etc). A large portion of US residents have become addicted to the flow of information arriving via the internet (myself included). Disrupting it would lead to a greater panic than just about anything the government might be trying to "protect us from" (ie, hide from us).
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:30AM (#32677624)

    . . . martial law, and all that, and really did need to "turn off" the Internet . . . wouldn't they just do it anyway . . . ?

    The US Army 137th Backhoe Battalion digs up and severs some strategic fiber lines . . . ?

    If the shit hits the fan, nobody is going to ask, "Hey, are we allowed to do that?" They'll just do whatever they think that they need to do anyway.

    Turn off Internet first, ask questions later.

    I mean, like, what was all that hanky panky with those undersea cables in the Middle East . . . ?

  • by morphotomy (1655417) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:30AM (#32677626)
    Communication is important in any crisis. The only reason to sabotage it is to disrupt and disable organization of the enemy. Why would our own government want to "switch off" our ability to coordinate?
  • by russotto (537200) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:32AM (#32677654) Journal

    "It's bad civic hygiene to build technologies that could someday be used to facilitate a police state."

    Problem is, there's a vast amount of dual-use technology. I mean, sure, working on censorware or the Great Firewall of China or something similar is directly facilitating a police state. But video cameras? (universal surveillance, modern Western democracies notably including the UK) Punched cards (tracking enemies of the state, Nazi Germany, sorry Mike)? Microphones (bugs, Soviet Russia and everywhere else), telephones (easily tapped conversations, US and elsewhere), cell phones (owner easily located, US and elsewhere)? OCR, face recognition?

  • by blcamp (211756) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:34AM (#32677690) Homepage

    "Does the U.S. really want to be like China or Iran?"

    Maybe the US as a citizenry doesn't want it... but this administration certainly does.

    It's hard to control the message when it's free-flowing and instant via the Internet. This administration wants control, especially in any "emergency".

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Que914 (1042204) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:35AM (#32677712)

    Does the U.S. really want to be like China or Iran?

    It seems pretty arrogant to assume we're so much different from either of them, every civil liberty violation we point at in our adversaries we see through the goggles of an outsiders opinion. How does it look to an outsider that we held hundreds of people for the better part of a decade with no right to a trial, that the CEO of the only telephone company who told the NSA they needed a warrant is now in jail, that the government tried to suppress video footage of an Apache gunning down good samaritan, so on and so forth.

    We like to envision the citizens of countries we don't care for as helpless prisoners or demonic dictators but the reality is probably about half the citizens think the governments wonderful and doing a great job, and half think they're evil tyrants, just like here.

  • by Feyshtey (1523799) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:40AM (#32677790)
    Agreed. Like many of the policies put forth by our current administration, you might trust them to use those new powers and regulations for the betterment of all. (This is, of course, quite debatable.) But do you have confidence that the -next- President, and his administration, will be so caring?

    One of the reasons for the Constitution specifically limiting the reach of the Federal Govt (that no one really seems to give a shit about anymore... we'll just "pass a law so you can see what's in it"...) is so that the Feds cannot build an empire over which they have absolute control. Putting in mechanisms to 'turn it off' does precisely that.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:43AM (#32677814)
    It depends on the granularity of the switch. If the switch could only kill the whole Internet, or at least the portion of the Internet in the USA, then it would take a lot before a politician tried to use it to silence opponents. But if the switch could knock out, say, just one subnet, or just one link, or just one server...now suddenly it becomes possible to shut down political opponents, and the possibility is not all that far fetched. The FBI has repeatedly sent undercover agents to anti-war groups, socialist groups, etc.; how many people would actually listen if an anti-war group accused the government of shutting down their website?
  • Re:Better plan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:46AM (#32677854) Homepage Journal

    They address that in the bill. In fact the bill deals with developing an appointed position to advise on cyber security policy.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:48AM (#32677882)
    Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo. They've all been used to some level of effect.
  • Re:rolls eyes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pedersen (46721) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#32677934) Homepage

    the need to cut off the internet makes perfect sense IN THE RIGHT CONTEXT. which is what the law will be tailored to. but if you take the idea of shutting down the internet, and put it in the context of your deepest fear: say, censorship based on political ideology, of course the idea is frightening. AS IF THIS CONTEXT MAKES ANY SENSE. there is no slippery slope, folks, unless you remove from the law and its invocation the existence of thinking human beings. all jokes about big government to the contrary, that's absurd

    One thing I have found time and time again: It is very easy to determine whether or not a law will be abused. Simply look at the people who are worried about what will happen, ask what they're worried about, and then listen to the responses from the proponents. When the responses include such phrases as "this will not happen" "it's impossible" "that's absurd" and the like, the law will be abused in exactly the way being described.

    To see too many examples from my own lifetime, you only need to look at copyright law. Laws can now be copyrighted by the writers, and legal battles waged so that the laws can be even be posted online so that everybody can see the laws they are subjected to (see: building codes for various areas around the country, such as Oregon [blogspot.com]). People working legally within their own country can be held prisoner should they visit another country (see Dmitry Slyarov [wikipedia.org]). People in other countries being investigated in their own country for violating a law that only exists in the US (see DVD Jon [wikipedia.org]).

    I have seen any number of people worried about the laws our government enacts, and the way in which it enforces those laws. I have seen them say "Wait! Bad idea! Abuse runs rampant with this!", and be told "Don't worry. Won't happen. You're being overly paranoid." Every time that has been the response, I have later seen that law get abused in just that way. And here you are, telling me (and others) not to worry, we're being paranoid, it won't happen. You'll pardon me if, based on past observation, I am somewhat skeptical of your claim.

    If you want to calm us down, and keep us from worrying, it's actually quite easy: Get limits put in the bill. For instance, this would help: "If the President uses the power granted by this law, then a vote of confidence is to be held in both houses of Congress within 48 hours. If the vote of confidence does not pass with at least a 2/3 majority of all members of the houses (not just those who attend), the President is immediately removed from office, with his successor, the Vice President, to take his place. In addition, the order to shut down the Internet will be rescinded immediately on completion of the vote." Put that in, and I'll be okay with this bill passing. The people in charge will be unwilling to use this power except under conditions that would actually require its use. Your response goes from "That's absurd" to "Thanks to this provision, we can ensure that it will only be used when absolutely necessary." Anything less than that sort of response, and I'm nervous.

    Quite frankly, you should be nervous too. If you're not, you haven't paid enough attention to how power gets abused.

  • by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:53AM (#32677976)
    Too much freedom to people is bad for the business.
  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:55AM (#32678014)

    A large portion of US residents have become addicted to the flow of information arriving via the internet (myself included). Disrupting it would lead to a greater panic than just about anything the government might be trying to "protect us from" (ie, hide from us).

    Perhaps you really meant "rely" or "depend" upon? I know it's popular these days, but IMHO 'addicted' is a profoundly overused word. (Probably due to the current fashion of calling anything that people find enjoyable or useful enough to do regularly an addiction.) I use the internet a lot and depend on it for information and convenience, but I sure as hell wouldn't "panic" if it were disrupted. I would be upset and angry, as I am when I lose power, water or the use of my cell or landline. The ability to rapidly gather information and communicate with loved ones or authorities during a crisis is crucially important (particularly when on the move eg. during a commute home), as you rightly suggest, but it's not an addiction.

  • I like this idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:56AM (#32678036)
    Then Fox won't be accessible to the rest of the world, and we can start forming opinions which don't include the drivel spouted by News Corp, the RIAA / MPAA, and the rest of the megacorps who want to govern world politics.

    Seriously, I'm all for a total communication blackout of America. I think it would do the English public some good to concentrate on our own issues.
  • even worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nten (709128) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:57AM (#32678046)

    Richard Clarke has suggested that the backbone endpoints, and even ISPs have super smart deep-packet-inspection filters that get their signature files from both folks like AV vendors *and* the government. In addition to signatures for malware, you could certainly create signatures for "dangerous ideas". Speaking of dangerous ideas... He also recognizes that serious oversight is needed to prevent abuse, but makes the assumption that such oversight is possible. When the people you are supposed to be overseeing can control what packets get sent to you, how do you do that?

  • Stupid idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:59AM (#32678078) Journal

    The Internet was designed to NOT be turned off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:00AM (#32678082)

    I don't think quoting a Senator who is reviled by just about everyone, regardless of party affiliation, is indicative of the general consensus in this country.

    so how does he stay in office then??

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:01AM (#32678110)

    No, we're a dictatorship of the corporations. That's why people who wonder at capitalistic dictatorships are so funny, they don't realize that's what the corporates want, that's fascism when a fascist country isn't at war.

  • if hysterical twits are the public face of the fight for liberties and freedoms then the fight for liberties and freedoms is discredited in the eyes of the public

    if you are not intelligent in your advocacy for your cause, the ultimate sum total real world effect of your passion might be nothing more than to hurt your cause

    "the more hysterical twits the better"

    the more people who think that, the more our liberties and freedoms are doomed. really, that's the solid truth of the matter

    please try to understand that when you write words like you have written above, you only aid those who wish to take away your liberties and freedoms. if you are not intelligent in your advocacy for your cause, you might as well be working for your ideological enemy, because the real world effect is the same

    be smart, or shut up. because you hurt what i care about

  • by howardd21 (1001567) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:05AM (#32678166) Homepage
    Nice, we cannot seal our borders but we will seal the internet? I never thought I might be with the tea party, but son of gun their stand for personal freedom looks good right about now.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:11AM (#32678256)

    Maybe we need a switch to turn off the government?

    We do.

    People just need to wake up and stop voting for bigger and bigger government handouts.

    Whenever you vote for the government to solve your problems you vote away your freedom and liberty, because the government needs POWER to "help" you.

  • is a clear definition of the context in which the power will be used

    there's nothing at all wrong with what you are asking for

    but how that context is defined: as intelligently as possible, is not in any way served by the adrenal gland overclocking OMGWEAREBECOMINGAFASCISTAUTOCRACY-ALLOURRIGHTSAREBEINGRAPED-THEYSEEEVERYTHINGYOUDO crowd

    the fight or flight response is a potent mammalian invention. adrenal glands are wonderful survival aides in times of sudden stress. but someone who is put under immense immediate stress to every vague slight distant warning is someone who is reacting to their own psychological shortcomings, not reality, and does not help the good fight at all

  • Re:rolls eyes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:20AM (#32678412) Homepage Journal

    yes, that explains why the government shuts down the roads and declares martial law all that time.

    Wait, no they don't.

  • by bonch (38532) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:30AM (#32678534)

    People wanted "net neutrality." Well, this is what you get when you hand control of the Internet over to the government. I've never understood what goes on in the head of a net neutrality supporter who wants the government to regulate net traffic, as if the government isn't more corrupt, inept, and power-hungry than corporations. Not only will the government want a kill switch, but they'll also be susceptible to lobby groups like the RIAA that make political donations to candidates who then go on to "regulate" P2P traffic for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:33AM (#32678568)

    Except that internet kill switches and regulating P2P traffic is precisely the opposite of what net neutrality is about. Way to troll though, brah.

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:37AM (#32678600)
    Duh...
    Maybe because the nature of the Internet is almost completely different from that of broadcast media? The internet is, as has already been observed, is a two-way communications medium, more akin to the telephone or snail mail than broadcast media. The fact that the Internet can be used gain the same (or greater) reach as broadcast media does in no way make it the same thing, because of the simple fact that that reach is available to virtually anyone with access.

    The power that the Founding Fathers saw in free speech is, without question, magnified by the Internet and the many technologies the ride upon it. That fact has not been lost on those entities who have reason to fear a free and open exchange of ideas and information (China, North Korea, Iran, Texas) . That anyone in the U.S. government could seriously suggest the same type of controls that are so quickly and effectively employed by despots simply boggles the mind.
  • by bonch (38532) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:38AM (#32678616)

    The government, particularly this administration, wants to control the flow of information for its own agendas. There's a philosophical battle now between the power of city-states and nation-states, where the administration believes in a nation-state that regulates everything while rising anti-Washington public sentiment supports city-states who make their own laws. A society with a technology like the internet is far more difficult to control as a nation-state, but regulating that technology is a way for the government to regain some level of control over what people know and what they're talking about--something they've lost in the last 15 years.

  • It's only preposterous if you believe that his goals and purposes are what he says they are. But remember, he voted for FISA while he was just a candidate.

    So it's not preposterous, only quite sad.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:48AM (#32678756)

    People wanted "net neutrality." Well, this is what you get when you hand control of the Internet over to the government.

    Net Neutrality doesn't mean handing over the control of the Internet to the government - it already has that, running the root DNS servers for example. Net Neutrality means that an ISP may not prioritize or filter Internet traffic based on source or destination. This prevents corporations from blocking or sabotaging their competitors, or keep their customers in the dark about something; for example, your ISP can't block Slashdot to promote their own discussion forum with automatic upmodding for astroturfers, nor can Sony pay them to prevent access to less than favourable reviews of Sony televisions on some site.

    I've never understood what goes on in the head of a net neutrality supporter who wants the government to regulate net traffic, as if the government isn't more corrupt, inept, and power-hungry than corporations.

    Probably some actual knowledge of the issue, rather than right-wing propaganda. You know, actually knowing what Net Neutrality means, which you obviously don't.

    Not only will the government want a kill switch, but they'll also be susceptible to lobby groups like the RIAA that make political donations to candidates who then go on to "regulate" P2P traffic for them.

    Without Net Neutrality these various Mafias can simply pay/threaten the ISPs directly to filter traffick.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:59AM (#32678932) Homepage Journal

    I always enjoyed Heinlein's writings, but he was no sage. You can indeed enslave a free man, unless by "free" you mean free of any family, loved ones, friends, or posessions. If I hold a knife to your child's throat you'll do any damned thing I tell you to.

    I counter his razor (usually misnamed "Hanlon's Razor) with "never attribute to incompetence whatn greedy self interest will explain."

  • Re:"cyber 9/11" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peter La Casse (3992) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @11:59AM (#32678938) Homepage

    WTF does "cyber 9/11" mean?

    It means "an attack carried out using the Internet that is as devastating to the US as the attacks on 9/11," duh.

    Are terrorists going to fly a plane into internet tubes and clog them?!

    Denial of service attacks exist, yes.

  • Re:rolls eyes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:16PM (#32679152) Homepage Journal

    no it doesn't unless you are a paranoid schizophrenic

    Dude, read a newspaper some time, or even TFA. China censors their version of the internet, as do other oppressive countries. To think that the US couldn't fall into tyrany is pollyannaism.

    if we have some sort of warhol worm, everyone ranting against the kill switch will be begging for the president to cut off the internet

    I already have a kill switch to cut off the internet; it's on the PC itself. The beauty of it is when I use this switch, it only affects MY computer.

    the need to cut off the internet makes perfect sense IN THE RIGHT CONTEXT.

    It would have to be incredibly narrowly tailored; tailored so narrowly that it would be completely ineffective. I urge you to RTFA, the present bills are NOT crafted with any safety mechanisms.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:19PM (#32679194)

    Probably some actual knowledge of the issue, rather than right-wing propaganda. You know, actually knowing what Net Neutrality means, which you obviously don't.

    But no actual knowledge of the way government works. The reason that many people oppose government enforced Net Neutrality is because we know that the government won't limit itself to saying that "an ISP may not prioritize or filter Internet traffic based on source or destination". There have been several Net Nuetrality bills proposed, have any of them been less than 10 pages? If all they were going to do is what you propose, then there would be no need for them to be more than one page. The problem is that every attempt to introduce "Net Neutrality" has contained more than just the limited regulation that you say you want.
    If a bill was proposed that said only what you proposed, I would be fine with that, but such a bill will never be proposed.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:27PM (#32679312) Journal

    When the net was regulated by people with no corporate aspirations, it was efficient and good.

    Now that the net was regulated by an international committee of gadflies and dopes, it was less efficient and still okay.

    But since they don't seem to have the power to force major ISPs to give open access to their customers, they are no longer useful.

    It takes a government to enforce something like that. But then a government, like a corporation or a committee, has its own agenda.

    The only choice then is either to let the government do it, but PERFORM YOUR ROLE AS PART OF THE GOVERMENT instead of sitting on your ass whining about its existence, or turn the net back over to the people who invented it (modulo Jon Postel) and give them the legal authority to slap multi-billion dollar fines on router owners who don't route agnostically, not matter in which nation the offender may reside.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:33PM (#32679434)
    Because they are afraid that we will use it to coordinate against them.
  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:34PM (#32679442)

    Here's the way regulation works. Private business tries something, people hate it. Customers can't get the companies to change their ways because all of the companies are doing it - there's no competitor to jump to. So now the government has to put a stop to it. In this case we have some isolated evidence and are trying to get out in front of this whole thing before it harms people.

    For the actual text of the bill, the only way to get a bill that works and makes sense is the same way industry does it. Write the bill and send it to your Congress critter. They will thank you for doing the heavy lifting and consider whether to sponsor it. If everyone sent their c.c. the same bill, they would take the hint and at least think before dismissing it. If you let them do it there will be piles of unrelated stuff in it, making it more than 10 pages long.

  • by fishexe (168879) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:57PM (#32679820) Homepage

    Probably some actual knowledge of the issue, rather than right-wing propaganda. You know, actually knowing what Net Neutrality means, which you obviously don't.

    But no actual knowledge of the way government works. The reason that many people oppose government enforced Net Neutrality is because we know that the government won't limit itself to saying that "an ISP may not prioritize or filter Internet traffic based on source or destination".

    Here's some actual knowledge of the way government works: the government won't limit itself to that even if we don't support net neutrality. That is, whether or not we get net neutrality, the government will try to claim as much control over the net as it feels it needs, and probably succeed. Why not get net neutrality out of the deal?

    It's a sausage factory, but throwing up our hands and going home isn't going to make it less so; that's just a form of surrender. We can at least work on making the factory make a better sausage, if only very slightly so. And net neutrality is like a tasty bratwurst, compared to the liquid-based flavorless hot dog that will result from not advocating net neutrality.

  • Re:"cyber 9/11" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WinPimp2K (301497) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:01PM (#32679898)

    No, it means that the response of the govenrment to a "cyber 9/11" will have about the same effect as their response to 9/11. Except that they are trying to be proactive and have their response sytem set up in advance.

    Remember that the response of the government to 9/11 was to sieze control of airport security and turn it over to the Theatrical Society of America. To help prevent potential hijackings the government could have required flight deck personnel to be armed - instead they prohibited it. They could have tried educating people to respond differently in a hijacking situation - instead they made regulations about the size of a plastic baggie that could be used to hold small bottles of liquids. It also gave us the USA PATRIOT Act which has been 100% effective in stopping terrorist attacks using IEDs made with home-made methamphetamines.

    Kind of like sending oil sucking barges back to the dock due to a potential lack of lifejackets and fire extinguishers. Or deciding that sand berms already under construction should be stopped until a "decider" could "decide" on a better place for them.

    So, in short, the government will "protect" us from a cyber 9/11 by doing more damage than the attackers could ever dream of. Except this time, they will do it first and then the "cyber terrorists" will find some other way to cause damage. But we will never find out about it becasue the kill switch will stop us. It sure sounds like the "kill switch" will become the single point of failure.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:29PM (#32680350)

    The alternative is that companies get to do whatever they want with the packets going through their equipment, and at that point, you'll still have people deciding what happens to your packets. Except that these people are incentivized to fuck with your packets as much as technically possible. With the government, there is the chance that bureaucracy will prevent much from happening.

    The social question of Net Neutrality regulation breaks down as follows: do you want a sociopath in control of your packets, or a bureaucrat?

    I'm choosing the bureaucrat every time. He cannot be worse than the sociopath.

  • by mikerz (966720) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:08PM (#32684544)
    Nobody? Actually -- the current administration's Cass Sunstein does want to manage what is said. For example, there has been a push for "fairness" to make it so that every opinion article has to have a link to opposing views. What if you don't want to? Well, it's "voluntary" but they will make mandates if you don't comply. (video: http://trippstake.squarespace.com/journal/2010/5/17/is-this-america.html [squarespace.com] )

    Anyway, this kill switch is also controlling what can be said. Silence is a total ban; why would you permit anyone to cut off all communication, large amounts of business, and god knows what else requires the internet?

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

Working...