S773 would give the President new powers to control the internet in the event of an emergency. The justification for this needless expansion of executive power? Fear... It is supposedly to protect us from the aftermath of a cyber attack.
I've skimmed over the bill and am surprised that such a lengthy bill can be so lacking on specifics. If fails to constitute what kind of cyber attack would allow the executive to exercise emergency powers. One can understand why we would want to protect things such as our water supply and power grid, but the bill fails to specify what constitutes a cyber emergency. If could be interpreted to be something as minor as a virus on Facebook.
The most disturbing part of the bill is the power it gives the executive branch. The President would have power to shut down traffic from certain nations. The President would also have power to shut down entire industries bringing our domestic internet to a halt for up to 90 days. All of this without congressional approval. Can you say, to much power?
Lets forget for a minute the power issue and who is in charge. How is it beneficial to shutdown key parts of the internet? It's not! We are always going to have cyber threats and attacks. The way to deal with these threats is to develop new technology and train good people to counter such threats. I fail to see how shutting down parts of the internet would help. In fact, it would do far more damage than any cyber attack. What would happen to our economy if we shut down large portions of the internet?
For those of you outside the U.S. that could care less what happens to the internet in America, have you thought about how America centered the internet is? Do you have a Google or Yahoo account? Does your computer use a Microsoft or Apple operating system? What would happen if these companies were shut down?
This is not a left verses right issue. This is common sense issue. Regardless of who the president is, no man should have this kind of power. I would not want George Washington to have this much power. We cannot let our fears drive us into (giving the already to powerful) executive branch this kind of power.