Tuesday, June 15, 2010

US Senator wants Internet seizure rights

A new bill introduced to Congress calls for a new government body to oversee the internet as well as provide emergency powers to a “director of cyberspace policy” as well as the President.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), introduced by Senator Joe Lieberman, would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and extend the already-broad definition of “critical infrastructure” to the Internet.

Since the United States is home to most of the Internet root server locations, as well as most of the companies serving up critical Internet functions such as VeriSign (operator of dot-com), ICANN (overseeing DNS policy body), and with ICANN and VeriSign working under a US government contract to provide the location of all other Internet registries across the world, such a Bill would effectively give a single individual de facto control over the internet.

As such, were the Act to be passed into law, it would cause the almost immediate fracturing of the internet into dozens of different networks and have a devastating impact on the “security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure” that it purported to protect.

Despite Senator Lieberman’s position as chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security Committee, this Bill will be gutted or shelved altogether following active lobbying by those that run the internet’s infrastructure, as well as the countless US companies that rely on the internet for their business, US government civil servants, the White House, and any and all elected officials asked to review it.

It is not the first time Senator Lieberman has used his position on the Committee to promote a headline-grabbing double-whammy of internet and security fears.


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