Lieberman: Internet Kill Switch A Good Idea – China’s Doing It!

How’s this for a sales pitch for giving the president the power to shut down the internet for up to three months.

Prison Planet: “Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too,” said Lieberman.

Thanks, Senator Leiberman. I feel so much better now. (Via Maggie’s Notebook)

Not only does the plan give the president the power to shut down the internet, it also could give the government the power to monitor our internet use.

Financial Times: The strategy seeks the creation of a system for identity management that would allow citizens to use additional authentication techniques, such as physical tokens or modules on mobile phones, to verify who they are before buying things online or accessing such sensitive information as health or banking records.

A set of standards would let multiple vendors offer authentication services, while people whose identities have been verified would be able to move from website to website without resubmitting information.

Um, I prefer to do my own “identity management” without the help of government. Nobody knows more than I the problem hackers pose online, but I don’t see how allowing the government to take control of the internet is going to make things better. In addition, it appears that the cyber-threats have been exaggerated by the government.

Boston Review: So “there is information” that cyber-attacks “ have been used.” When? Why? By whom? And have the attacks caused any power outages? The CIA may have some classified information, but very little that is unclassified suggests that such cyber-intrusions have occurred.

Or consider an April 2009 Wall Street Journal article entitled “Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies.” The article quotes no attributable sources for its starkest claims about cyber-spying, names no utility companies as victims of intrusions, and mentions just one real cyber-attack, which occurred in Australia in 2000 and was conducted by a disgruntled employee rather than an external hacker.

It is alarming that so many people have accepted the White House’s assertions about cyber-security as a key national security problem without demanding further evidence. Have we learned nothing from the WMD debacle? The administration’s claims could lead to policies with serious, long-term, troubling consequences for network openness and personal privacy.

The Boston Review article is worth reading in its entirety. The same old corporatist players are involved in this push for more government control and regulation of the internet.