internet off switch ?

This is a discussion on internet off switch ? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Obama 'Internet kill switch' plan approved by US Senate panel - Techworld.com internet off switch ? what do you think ...

  1. #1
    Registered User kryptkat's Avatar
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    internet off switch ?

    Obama 'Internet kill switch' plan approved by US Senate panel - Techworld.com

    internet off switch ?

    what do you think about this ?

    i think it is a very bad idea on so many levels. a lot of businesses today make money by the internet. as each business is different it would be hard to say how much it would effect them.

    what about other counties that have internet service ?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I think the first time it is used:

    • It would be political suicide for the one issuing the order
    • It would anger 60% of the US population with the result being mass demonstrations
    • It's constitutionality would be questioned and the courts would find it unconstitutional based on the first ammendment right to free speech.
    • States would use their sovereign power clause to force the feds to cease and desist. The Feds have no right to monitor information that flows between and in and out of the States without the express permission of the States. Right now it isn't a big deal but I believe an act like this would cause the State legislatures to take swift action and invoke their sovereign powers as granted to them by the US Constitution.
    • It could probably be proven to be more dangerous to shut down portions of the internet on an international scale than to allow it to remain functional during a cyber attack. Shutting down servers in the USA would have a huge ripple effect on the web worldwide and would probably cause more harm than any cyber attack could ever cause.
    • Because shutting down the internet is far more dangerous to the world and its economies than a cyber attack I think this law is probably one of the dumbest I've ever heard of and would actually make any cyber attack 100 times more dangerous than it really is. It would only serve to excaberate an isolated problem.


    Once again this proves how clueless US lawmakers are about the internet.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 07-02-2010 at 07:28 PM.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Aren't backbone networks supposed to be free of central control? Isn't that common knowledge? Who the hell is actually in the committees that see bills first?

  4. #4
    Ecologist
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    Sounds like a good idea
    Staying away from General.

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    I think it doesn't really matter.

    Under US law passed during the second world war (1942, if my memory serves) the US president has had the authority to order termination of all publicly accessible wired (which would include ethernet cabling) and unwired (eg radio) communications on US territory.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy
    Under US law passed during the second world war (1942, if my memory serves) the US president has had the authority to order termination of all publicly accessible wired (which would include ethernet cabling) and unwired (eg radio) communications on US territory.
    That article makes reference to claims by "Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors" that "the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause 'the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication' in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934".
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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    [*]States would use their sovereign power clause to force the feds to cease and desist. The Feds have no right to monitor information that flows between and in and out of the States without the express permission of the States.
    Sure they do -- they have already been doing this for years. Did you not notice the whole "warrantless wiretapping" debate that ended with the federal gov passing legislation allowing it and retro-actively freeing from prosectution AT&T for having made it possible in the first place? Do you think Homeland Security, the FBI, or the NSA are required to inform or co-operate with any State authorities when they monitor communications across state lines? That is all centralized in a few places, it is a federal operation, and it certainly involves monitoring communications across State lines, 24/7, every day.

    This has already been challenged in court on constitutional grounds and upheld on the basis that Article II of the Constitution invests the President with the power of Commander in Chief of the military and executive power with regard to concerns of national defence and foreign policy, which is what this is about. This is the same power that allows the Congress and the President to do things like declare war and institute a draft, regardless of how individual States feel about it.

    Hence, it's already done. But as some other people have observed, it is hard to conceive of a situation where this would actually be considered necessary or useful.
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    Registered User kryptkat's Avatar
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    i was under the impression that they wanted to take the entire internet down not just portions of it. not just in this country.

  9. #9
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryptkat View Post
    i was under the impression that they wanted to take the entire internet down not just portions of it. not just in this country.
    Which would be ... impossible. Unlike common belief, the USA is not the centre of the world.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    Which would be ... impossible.
    But extremely damaging. USA still holds 4 non distributed root servers. I'm unsure of the consequences, since I'm unsure exactly how root servers operate. But I imagine that shutting off all root servers in USA grounds by administrative order would plunge the internet into a grind worldwide for at least the first few hours while requests to these servers from the other root servers had to be rerouted.
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    This 'internet' thing we take for granted is indeed a delicate technology. Laws like this have no place in technology. I cannot imagine any cyber attack so vast that it would require a shutdown.

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    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    That article makes reference to claims by "Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors" that "the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause 'the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication' in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934".
    Which makes the whole thing not clear.

    I would agree that the internet should have an added security and plans against a cyber attack no matter how extreme it may sound should be taken. I don't know exactly what those could be. Maybe having some backup/alternative routers or having more strict laws against cyber attacks. The idea is to increase the quality of the internet by making it more secure without having government control. The government's role is to help, not control. If there is a well defined emergency, like a way, then it is another story. Still, it is a bit unclear what exactly it is about.

    I don't really know how bad a cyber attack can be. I imagine they are not stupid enough to connect missile launchers on a system that has internet access...

    Not to open a new topic, but I would like to hear your views about internet piracy. Is it ok to download something that is not suppose to be free, who should be prosecuted if it is not?

  13. #13
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua
    Not to open a new topic, but I would like to hear your views about internet piracy. Is it ok to download something that is not suppose to be free, who should be prosecuted if it is not?
    This is indeed a different topic, hence you should start a new thread if you really want to ask this question.
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    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    Because shutting down the internet is far more dangerous to the world and its economies than a cyber attack I think this law is probably one of the dumbest I've ever heard of and would actually make any cyber attack 100 times more dangerous than it really is.
    I could not agree more... except on the multiple.

    If we get a clever hacker poking around DOD servers we may get a knee-jerk reaction from some unstable technophobe disguised as a security expert who drops a major pipe and costs the world a few hundred million dollars in avalanche costs.

    I think you are a few zeroes off.

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  15. #15
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    If a provider (not neccessarily an ISP) stops providing whatever he normally provides, two things can happen:

    a) people notice that life is still fun without the provided stuff and they decide that they could as well stop using (and paying for) whatever was provided

    or

    b) people notice how much they depend on the stuff provided and therefore on their provider and switch providers or find new sources if there is no easy switch. In addition, they will most likely be ........ed.


    Both is not in the best interest of the provider.
    hth
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