Homeland Security Ordered to Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
By Joshua Philipp
November 19, 2013
A U.S. court has given the Department of Homeland Security 30 days to explain why it has not disclosed its plans for a rumored “Internet kill switch” that could shut down communications in a crisis.
The court order follows a back-and-forth between the department and the digital rights group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which has been pressuring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release the documents.
It began in July 2012 when the EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act request with DHS for information on the alleged “kill switch.”
At first, DHS said it couldn’t find any records on the “kill switch.” EPIC appealed, and then DHS said it found a relevant protocol, one that likely comes from a law first penned in 1934.
An “Internet kill switch” fitting a similar description has been in place for years, and information on it is public.