News about how the Egyptian Government was able to effectively turn off the Internet and cell phone service made headlines during the period of unrest that the country is experiencing. But there is also a plan that is being proposed here in the U.S. that would also turn off the Internet for U.S. citizens during times of a ‘Cybersecurity Emergency.’ The bill has been floating around since June of 2010 and is being co-sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Collins. A vote is expected later in 2011, since after some criticism, the bill has been modified and is still being circulated.
According to one article the proposal would work like this:
Lieberman and Collins’ solution is one of the more far-reaching proposals. In the Senators’ draft bill, “the President may issue a declaration of an imminent cyber threat to covered critical infrastructure.” Once such a declaration is made, the director of a DHS National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications is supposed to “develop and coordinate emergency measures or actions necessary to preserve the reliable operation, and mitigate or remediate the consequences of the potential disruption, of covered critical infrastructure.
I think that the idea of having a way to protect the Internet here in the U.S. is a good idea, especially during a mass cyber attack. But the majority of these attacks come from outside of the U.S. How about a system where we could block access from outside of the U.S., and keep the Internet functioning in our country? To me that makes more sense.
Another question I would ask is what exactly is a ‘Cybersecurity Emergency?’ This needs further explanation.