The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has approved a cybersecurity bill, Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), that would give the president far-reaching authority over the Internet in the case of emergency.
As The Hill explains, the bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Tom Carper, would give the president "emergency authority to shut down private sector or government networks in the event of a cyber attack capable of causing massive damage or loss of life." The original bill granted the president the authority to "indefinitely" shut down networks, but an amendment to the PCNAA, approved yesterday, mandates that the president "get Congressional approval after controlling a network for 120 days."
The authority granted to the government in the bill has been likened to an Internet "kill switch."
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