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Bill could give Obama control of Internet during emergencies

A new U.S. senate bill has been redrafted to give President Obama the power of control to shut down the Internet in case of emergency situations. The 55-page draft that was obtained by CNET appears to permit the president to seize temporary control over private-sector networks in a cybersecurity emergency.

If the bill is passed, it would allow control to temporary disable Internet traffic in private-sectors. "A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president's power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001."

Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which contains large Internet and telecommunication companies such as Verizon, Verisign, Nortel and Carnegie Mellon University said "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

The bill is still unclear what power of control President Obama might receive until it is properly addressed after the Senate's summer recess.

The bill is to protect against cyber threats and attacks on critical infrastructures such as the power grid in case of an attack from a broadband connection. Such control over the Internet may never be executed but with hackers getting more creative, national security becomes top priority in emergencies.

Thanks for the tip Hurmoth

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