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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

‘Kill Switch Bill’: US to join China and Egypt with internet censorship?

How many freedoms are we willing to lose to the terrorism bogeyman?

'Kill Switch' Internet bill alarms privacy experts

By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO — A raging debate over new legislation, and its impact on the Internet, has tongues wagging and fingers pointing from Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C.

The ominously nicknamed Kill Switch bill and its impact on the Internet is stirring debate.

Just as the Egyptian government recently forced the Internet to go dark, U.S. officials could flip the switch if the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset legislation becomes law, say its critics.

Proponents of the bill, which is expected to be reintroduced in the current session of Congress, dismiss the detractors as ill-informed — even naive.

The ominously nicknamed Kill Switch bill is sure to be a flashpoint of discussion at the RSA Conference, the nation's largest gathering of computer-security experts that takes place here this week.

The bill — crafted by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Tom Carper, D-Del. — aims to defend the economic infrastructure from a cyberterrorist attack. But it has free-speech advocates and privacy experts howling over the prospect of a government agency quelling the communication of hundreds of millions of people

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