Obama’s Internet Kill Switch, not Really Obama’s
I love how the republican blowhards made this sound like it was an Obama creation. Turns out that the authority to shut off “any means of communication in time of emergency” rule was passed in 1942.
So, since 1942, every president since then has had the ability to kill communications at will during times of a national emergency. The blowhards, made it seem like it was an Obama power grab, when it’s really not.
My biggest concern with the kill switch, is what will happen during the zombie apocalypse? Will they shut off the internet? Is that why no one in any zombie movie makes a reference to getting online and checking the status of things in other cities and so on?
On a serious note, I see the advantages in being able to sever an enemy’s communication network. What I don’t like, is that if/ since an enemy can use civilian communication channels, I may not be able to communicate with my family and loved ones.
That’s what really bothers me.
Under a World War II-era law, the US president appears to have authority to disconnect computer systems and servers from the internet in the event of a national emergency. But the next US Congress is poised to change that.
The law was passed in 1942. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had provoked fear of a foreign invasion of US soil, and Congress responded by giving President Franklin Roosevelt broad power to commandeer or shutter telephone and telegraph networks.
Nearly 70 years later, telegraph networks have disappeared, and the telephone is only one of many means of communication.
But although the 1942 law makes no mention of the internet – merely of “any facility or station for wire communication” – the Obama administration in June told Congress it would cite it in an emergency.
It has not been tested in court, but experts say section 706(d) of the Communications Act could give the president wide-ranging authority to shut down key computer systems.
With typical Washington hyperbole, the law has become known as the presidential “internet kill switch”.