Friday, June 18, 2010

They're Killing the Internet?

Did you know 'They' could kill the internet? I didn't know they could kill the internet.

DID YOU FRIGGIN KNOW THEY COULD KILL THE INTERNET?!

Apparently, they can. Or, at least, Joe Lieberman would like the ability to do so. The Senator introduced a bill today that would give the President the authority to 'seize control or even shut down portions of the internet.' 

I highly recommend that you read the linked article (above). The basic gist is that, should a situation arise where there is a 'cybersecurity emergency', the government can slow down or just turn off the whole damn internet. The title says it all: the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. So, I suppose it's a good thing that this government recognizes the interwebs as a national asset, but groups are coming out of the cyber-woodwork to express their distaste of the bill.

It should be quickly pointed out that this bill is only still a bill. It is not law. It is not reality. Yet. This legislation would also create a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communication (NCCC), which would require certain groups to share information with the NCCC. 

I understand the desire to safeguard information, and I understand the need for kill switches in certain situations. Like, nuclear launches, floodgates opening and closing, or...you know...literal kill switches (executions). I'm not sure the whole friggin internet is one of those situations. Though, I am quite keen to see how this will play out on the national stage. Certainly this won't go through, especially with public opinion being so starkly against it. 

Needless to say, as a lover of the internet, I'm against anything that allows the government to get information from it, requires various companies to give up information to them, and allows for the possibility of a full-scale slow-down or shut down. The internet is already unreliable with upload and download speeds, not even taking into account your choice of internet connection.

What do YOU think about an Internet Kill Switch? Comment, Tweet, or Email your response!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

4 comments:

  1. This is a long time overdue, and less restrictive than it should be. The Internet is not just a webpage that displays when a local movie plays, a link to your favorite chat-room, or a medium to play your favorite online game.

    As a software developer I know how easy it would be to send something out there that could cause serious harm to power grids, public transportation, communication, water supplies, etc. Millions of people could die as a result of a directed attack. If I lacked professional ethics and a fear of repercussion, I personally could "take down" and/or alter portions of the Internet in a matter of minutes if I so felt. With days of preparation, I could do serious damage to the country. I choose not to, but that doesn't mean others will do the same.

    The days of shut-in teenagers being the only hackers are over. Real electrical and software engineers with decades of experience, education, and practical training are currently working for countries all around the globe. Many countries have entire military divisions trained in cyber warfare attack and defense.

    The coordinated cyber attacks against Georgia by Russia in 2008 are nothing compared to what could be done today to a country as wired as ours.

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  2. I guess this is a "just in case, if we really have to" rule.
    Hopefully, it wouldn't be used a lot and only in emergencies.
    To be honest, I think the government could get all the info they wanted on me in seconds (I speak from experience).
    And if it's used for the greater good then perhaps it could help people in times of need.

    That said it perhaps it interferes with free speech if it can shut certain bits and pieces down?

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  3. I'm just a layman when it comes to computer programming so maybe the answer fails me. But, how do we immediately jump to handing the government control of (large portions of) the internet?

    Would it not be more secure to have the ability to close off systems from internet that might be threatened from security risks? Surely our water and power grids worked well before the internet? Can't those systems retain those abilities to work while segregated from the internet?

    In my mind, that would a much more efficient and secure way to protect essential systems than an overall internet slow-down or shut-down.

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  4. Well, in the shoes of the ones supporting the bill it would seem advantageous for the government to have the ability to shut down parts of the Internet because of terrorists being able to use the internet to create more followers. However, I do think that it would boost up a little more the distrust of the people since we are all already being spied on by the government because of the Patriot Act. What else is left to control. Honestly, I don't know what to think anymore. I feel like the government is being the overprotective parent and the country is being the rebelling 20 year old offspring.

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