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Is an Internet Kill Switch Feasible In the US? 339

wiredmikey writes "The 'Kill Switch' bill will introduce legislation that would give the US government power to limit Internet traffic in the event of cyber-security emergency. To recap recent events in Egypt, public political protests reached critical mass on January 25th and on January 27th, Internet connectivity and access across the region began plummeting ultimately leading to a five-day blackout. The question remains: could the same approach be taken in the US?"
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Is an Internet Kill Switch Feasible In the US?

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  • Inconceivable! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eggplant62 ( 120514 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @12:58PM (#35151764)

    I thought the First Amendment to the Constitution prevented the government from limiting speech in any way, shape or form. I guess not.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Wednesday February 09, 2011 @01:44PM (#35152378)

    Or they might do it via cell phone, so you should shut down all cell phones too.

    You mean, like during the Mumbai attacks, when the guys killing civilians were using cell phones to coordinate what they were doing? Once you find out that's what's in play, do you not see value in being able to direct the carrier to shut down the tower they're using?

    The government already has, and has long had the power to sieze vehicles in an emergency. To compell HAM operators to work with them or to shut down. To take over food supplies/transport. To stockpile and control the flow of things like bauxite or fuel. In an emergency, they've got juice. This (internetworking stuff) is an area in which those powers are not codified. Wouldn't you rather it was clearly spelled out, and there were rules that an executive had to follow, including chain of events, documentation, etc? Those things are already true about other emergency powers.

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