By Grant Gross
IDG News Service
June 24, 2010
A U.S. Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill
that some critics have suggested would give the U.S. president the
authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.
Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges
that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the
president an Internet "kill switch." Instead, 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, they said in a breakdown of
the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee Web site.
The committee unanimously approved an amended version of the legislation
by voice vote Thursday, a committee spokeswoman said. The bill next
moves to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.
The bill, introduced earlier this month, would establish a White House
Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and
Communications, which would work with private U.S. companies to create
cybersecurity requirements for the electrical grid, telecommunications
networks and other critical infrastructure.
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