Big Sis To Get Expanded Role In Policing Internet
Democrats Want “Kill Switch” Bill Passed This Year
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Two cybersecurity bills that would hand President Obama the power to shut down parts of the Internet in the event of a national emergency have now been merged into a single unified piece of legislation that Democrats will try to pass before the end of the year, with the Department of Homeland Security being given a larger role in policing the world wide web.
Under the new draft bill, which is a combination of the two versions originally crafted by Senators Joe Lieberman and Jay Rockefeller, Janet Napolitano’s DHS will be handed broader authority to determine how to handle potential cybersecurity threats.
“DHS will get expanded authorities. I think that’s clear,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert with think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, who has studied the new bill.
An expanded role for Homeland Security would be somewhat ironic given the fact that the DHS itself recently failed an extensive cyber-security audit conducted by the agency’s own Inspector General.
“The DHS US-CERT office is currently plagued by at least 600 vulnerabilities that could compromise sensitive data, including 202 which have been classified as high-risk,” reported TG Daily.
Homeland Security’s failure to adequately secure its own internal network will lead to questions about why the agency should be given vast new authority to secure America’s cyber assets and the public Internet.
Democrats want to get the bill passed within the next four weeks, although “sticking points” could delay the legislation, according to a Senate aide familiar with the bill. However, lawmakers are determined to put the package up for a vote before the end of the year.