Backers of the bill have argued that it doesn't constitute a "kill switch" for the Internet -- and even if it did, it doesn't matter because the president already has the power to shut down communications networks during times of war.
But critics argue that if the law really changed nothing, it wouldn't be necessary. And they point out that the Communications Act of 1934 only gives the president the ability to shut down communications during times of war, whereas the proposed bill would allow it during times of "national cybermergency," a concept evidently left to the president to define.
The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act is by no means the only proposal seeking to grant government more control over the Internet. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, proposed in Congress last year, would give the federal government the power to shut down any domain deemed to be engaged in copyright violations.
Critics said the bill is both a giveaway to the movie and recording industries and a step towards widespread and unaccountable censorship of the Internet.
Join us on our
Share this page with your friends
on your favorite social network: