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Bill Allows Feds to Take Over Private Networks During Cyber Attacks

3 years ago
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The federal government could take over private firms' networks in the event of a widespread cyberattack in the United States, under a broad infrastructure security bill introduced in the Senate this week.

The draft bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), gives the Department of Homeland Security authority to keep "critical infrastructure" up and running during a "cybersecurity emergency," Wired reported.

The measure states that once the president declares an "imminent cyberthreat," a DHS cybersecurity and communications director would "develop and coordinate emergency measures or actions necessary to preserve the Liebermanreliable operation, and mitigate or remediate the consequences of the potential disruption, of covered critical infrastructure."

"The owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure shall comply with any emergency measure or action developed by the Director," the bill says.

The emergency measures would remain in place for a month but could be be extended indefinitely, 30 days at a time.

Lieberman and Collins' bill is one of the more far-reaching proposals on Capitol Hill that seek to keep the Internet stable during an attack by hackers, according to Wired.
Filed Under: Senate, Congress, Internet

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56 Comments

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Sevensfatboy

Cyber attack why don't they focus on an Iran Nuke attack?

June 04 2010 at 2:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
legalcld

Another disaster in the making with this bill!

June 04 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
HAHAHAHA

Sounds to me like we have a lot of people commenting on a bill they haven't read yet.
Tsk. Tsk.

It would be interesting if we had a major cyber attack happen right now.
I wonder how many of you would be singing a different tune when you realize after the system is completely screwed from the attack. How many would be crying about the government not doing enough to protect them?
You know, kind of relates to how everyone blames Obama for the private sector oil spill. Less government, then a disaster happens, then everyone cries wondering why the government isn't doing enough. You people can't have it both ways.

June 04 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
nokabosh

Technically speaking who determines what is a "critical system" and how is it protected by having the gov't seize control of the entire Internet? The bill presumes that the Gov't can protect critical systems if it controls the entire net? That I got to see. The current Internet design is wide open to security attacks of all types. They can't protect critical systems without putting them on a different net designed from the outset for security. This bill makes no sense except from a political standpoint of controlling content for political purposes at the whim of the president.

June 04 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nokabosh's comment
HAHAHAHA

Interesting...please copy and paste into your next comment where it says in this article or the bill proposed where they will control the entire net? Too funny.

I wonder how long you'll wait after you lose power from a cyber attack, that you'll blame the government for not doing enough?

June 04 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
nokabosh

This is a first step toward controlling free speech, or as Obama's crowd would say, "redistibuting" it"

June 04 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nokabosh's comment
HAHAHAHA

How exactly does this interfere with free speech?
Help the sky is falling!

June 04 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
nokabosh

Why not design a different Internet for so called critical systems that is more secure?

June 04 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nokabosh's comment
WJ

Because said critical systems are in the private domain. Obviously most of these folks never heard of Russia's cyberattack against Georgia. ( No, not the one in the US).

June 06 2010 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nokabosh

Obama wants control of the Internet for fund raising purposes. For this bill to work the ability to seize control must also require the consent of a Fed judge similar to that required when wire tapping.

June 04 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wendy

What was it Rahm Emmanuel said about letting no crisis going to waste? Sounds like another government takeover to me. Crap, why not, look at all of the other takeovers this past year and a half; what's one more of our precious liberties being absconded by the government who is all knowing. We're like sheep being led to the slaughter.

June 03 2010 at 11:43 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply
kiowapecan

Hope the government will be better prepared for this eventuality than it was with offshore drilling.

June 03 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
greatonenonly

Big brother marches on.....Orwell.......how right you were

June 03 2010 at 11:23 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to greatonenonly's comment
jancf

What would you do in the event of a cyberattack?

June 04 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
WJ

So... a bill sponsored by a Democrat and Republican senator is Obama trying to take overt the Internet?

How about we comment on the merits of the bill ( pros and cons ) without injecting the usual foolishness in the discussion.

June 06 2010 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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