As an Internet attorney and an online entrepreneur, like you, I’ve got an interest in making sure that the Internet operates relatively smoothly 24/7. When you’re selling products or services online, you can’t do business if your site is down.
Unfortunately, the mental midgets (Congress) have a pending bill that would let any President declare a national cyber emergency and shut down the Internet for months at a time. Called “Protecting CyberSpace as a National Asset Act of 2010,” the bill does the exact opposite. In addition to a free speech killer, as an Internet attorney, I find this bill to be morally reprehensible because it hurts businesses like yours by giving dictatorial powers to the President to use an “Internet kill switch” to allegedly protect national security.
If the President determines there is a credible threat to exploit cyber vulnerabilities of the covered critical infrastructure, the President may declare a national cyber emergency, with notification to Congress and owners and operators of affected covered critical infrastructure.
The notification must include the nature of the threat, the reason existing security measures are deficient, and the proposed emergency measures needed to address the threat. If the President exercises this authority, the Director of the NCCC will issue emergency measures necessary to
preserve the reliable operation of covered critical infrastructure. Any emergency measures issued under this section will expire after 30 days unless the Director of the NCCC or the President afbusinesss in writing that the threat still exists or the measures are still needed. – Act Section 249
The President unilaterally defines “credible threat” and how long it exists. What’s that mean? Spamming a credible threat? What about hackers? Shut down an Internet with negative social media that threatens a presidential election/re-election campaign? If Bill Clinton had this power as president, would the Drudge Report have been able to break the Monica Lewinsky story? Do you trust politicians to do the right thing or look out for their own interests?
You don’t have to be an Internet attorney to know that this is the type of power you see in the hands of power-mad thugs like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. It has little to do with protecting you and everything to do with protecting the politicians who don’t want to be criticized for the way they don’t perform their jobs. Congressional clowns are trying to abdicate their oversight responsibilities.
Think it would never happen?
Ask your Internet attorney about what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did to television infomercials. The FCC regulated them out of existence for many years to “protect the public.” A thriving marketing channel was snuffed out based on anti-business political agendas.
What should you do? In addition to consulting with your Internet attorney about any legal questions you may have, you’ll want to expand into other media for marketing in case this kill switch becomes law and gets used. And, of course, let your Congressional representatives know what you think about this monstrosity. Kill the bill…not the Internet.