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Passions in Poetry

The Kill Switch

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Denise
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0 posted 06-19-2010 08:28 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

How can this possibly be justified in a free country? We aren't China, Cuba or Venezuela. Not yet anyway.

quote:
As I understand it, the president already had absolute authority to direct the oil cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico under legislation approved by Congress. How's that working out for everyone?

Do you honestly trust this president of the United States or, for that matter, any president of the United States with that kind of censorship power?

For 230 years, the president didn't have the legislative power to pull the kill switch on the nation's newspapers or, later, the nation's radio airwaves, or, later still, the nation's television signals.

The Internet represents so much more than all of those media combined. It is quickly becoming the central communication resource for everyone. It will soon rival even the telephone for personal communications.

I'm trying to imagine the kind of emergency that would justify the president blinding and deafening 300 million Americans.

Can you figure out what that kind of emergency would look like?

Can you figure out how cutting off all communications would be a positive thing, a life-saving thing, a safety and security measure?

I sure can't.

I fully acknowledge the threats posed to our country from cyber-warfare. But the ramifications of the president being handed a "kill switch" to disable parts or potentially all of the Internet are far more grave than the threats posed by any enemies.

Terrorists and criminals have also used telephones in plotting their evil deeds. Yet I haven't heard anyone suggest the president have a "kill switch" for all telephone service.

What might the reaction have been if George W. Bush were offered the "kill switch" to the Internet? Would that have awakened the civil libertarians out there?

If government secrets are not secure on the Internet, perhaps they should be taken off the Internet. If our banks accounts are not secure on the Internet, why are they there?

Is the answer to security risks shutting down the nation's No. 1 communications mechanism?

It would seem to me that in almost any national emergency I could envision, the Internet would be a vital resource for every American. Why would any president want it shut down?

I think what we really need is a "kill switch" for Washington's relentless power grabs.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=168197
Grinch
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Whoville


1 posted 06-19-2010 09:04 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
How can this possibly be justified in a free country?


If you understand anything about how computers and the internet works justifying having someone able to order the isolation or shutdown of all or part of it in an emergency is simple Denise.

Once you accept that someone has to be able to do that, the only question left is who that someone should be, the President seems like a good choice to me – who do you think it should be Denise?

.
Denise
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2 posted 06-19-2010 11:38 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Anyone but a politician.

When they first floated this idea over a year ago, one of his aids said that it's no big deal. The President already has the power required in national emergencies to do this. The one question I didn't hear from anyone in the media, including Fox, is why the necessity for the new law then? There must be something in it that grants more power to the President than he already has.
Grinch
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3 posted 06-19-2010 12:05 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Anyone but a politician.


I’m not sure I like your idea of appointing an independent Internet Security Czar Denise, it might work, but how would the position be funded to ensure he/she remains independent and who would appoint them?

quote:
The President already has the power required in national emergencies to do this.


Technically he has, along with a whole bunch of other stuff he can do all rolled up in his responsibility to protect the nation, like launching a nuclear strike if the situation necessitates it. The problem is that there’s no formal process, the proposed bill which seeks to ensure the security of networks, data and infrastructure includes a provision to correct that.

.
Denise
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4 posted 06-19-2010 12:14 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It also leaves it to his sole discretion as to what constitutes a national emergency.
Grinch
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5 posted 06-19-2010 12:38 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Wouldn’t that be the same if your non-political internet security Czar were given the power Denise?

As I said, someone has to do it and the office of President seems like an obvious choice regardless of who the President happens to be.

.
Denise
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6 posted 06-19-2010 12:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think we are capable of better than that, Grinch. And we have too many Czars at the moment, too.
Grinch
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7 posted 06-19-2010 12:57 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I’m not so sure Denise, I mean the dipstick in the article you quoted couldn’t even think of an emergency that would require closing down sections of the internet - the non-political Czar was your idea – remember?

Imagine if that wingnut was given the power.

.
Denise
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8 posted 06-19-2010 05:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I didm't say we needed a Czar. I said we needed a non-politician. Maybe perhaps a committee in Defense to evaluate potential securiry emergencies and then recommend appropriate action for the President to sign off on. It shouldn't be only in the hands of the President, in my opinion.
Grinch
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9 posted 06-19-2010 05:50 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Err.. That’s almost exactly what the bill proposes Denise, a central group or committee of experts will be formed to which all key network and system Administrators will be obliged to report potential cyber attacks. That group would report to the President with a rating of potential risk and a recommended strategy, including any necessity to isolate or shutdown affected systems. The President would  base his decision on their report but ultimately he’d be the only person able to authorise such action.

Have you read the proposal Denise? Or are you simply regurgitating what the dipstick said in the article?

.
Essorant
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10 posted 06-19-2010 05:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What kind of "emergencies" are we talking about?   I can see how a bank's site might need to be shut down for security issues, but the internet as a whole?  I don't quite see what would justify that.  
Amaryllis
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11 posted 06-19-2010 06:02 PM       View Profile for Amaryllis   Email Amaryllis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Amaryllis

This is completely off the subject, but `The Kill Switch` is a great title for a poem~!  
.
Sorry.. carry on!
~Amaryllis
Grinch
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12 posted 06-19-2010 06:37 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
  I don't quite see what would justify that


Ess, the access and transfer medium of a systematic cyber attack is likely to be via the internet, to protect uncompromised networks, and isolate affected networks cutting internet access is standard operating procedure.

It would need to be a serious cyber attack for anyone to contemplate shutting down the whole internet but it’s not difficult to build possible scenarios.

Take your bank example, if a single bank was infected by an unknown piece of malicious software that transmitted account details to a site on the internet you could stop the transfer by cutting the banks internet connection. If an unknown number of banks were being affected you could shutdown the site that the account details were being transferred to, but suppose the number and type of networks being attacked was unknown and the number and location of sites that the details were being transferred to was also high and constantly changing. Under those circumstances cutting internet connection across the main backbone and inter-backbone routers is a viable option.

As I said, cutting access to the whole internet would have to be an exceptional case Ess, for a start it’s not as simple as it sounds, the internet is designed to be resilient in that regard - flicking a switch isn't a good analogy.

In most cases localised access would be cut.

.
Denise
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13 posted 06-20-2010 01:36 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes, I've read it Grinch. And as with other legislation lately, the language is too vague, and the powers granted too far sweeping. I've underlined a few areas of concern in these selections:

the term ‘incident’ means an occurrence
19 that—
20 ‘‘(A) actually or potentially jeopardizes—
21 ‘‘(i) the information security of infor
22 mation infrastructure; or
23 ‘‘(ii) the information that information
24 infrastructure processes, stores, receives,
25 or transmits; or
‘‘(B) constitutes a violation or threat of
2 violation of security policies, security
3 procedures, or acceptable use policies
applicable to
4 information infrastructure.


5 ‘‘(10) the term ‘information infrastructure’
6 means the underlying framework that information
7 systems and assets rely on to process, transmit, re
8 ceive, or store information electronically, including—
9 ‘‘(A) programmable electronic devices and
10 communications networks; and
11 ‘‘(B) any associated hardware, software, or data;


‘‘(17) the term ‘national cyber emergency’
2 means an actual or imminent action by any indi
3 vidual or entity to exploit a cyber vulnerability in a
4 manner that disrupts, attempts to disrupt, or poses
5 a significant risk of disruption
to the operation of
6 the information infrastructure essential to the reli
7 able operation of covered critical infrastructure;
8 ‘‘(18) the term ‘national information infrastruc
9 ture’ means information infrastructure—
10 ‘‘(A)(i) that is owned, operated, or con
11 trolled within or from the United States; or
12 ‘‘(ii) if located outside the United States,
13 the disruption of which could result in national
14 or regional catastrophic damage in the United
15 States; and
16 ‘‘(B) that is not owned, operated, con
17 trolled, or licensed for use by a Federal agency;

‘‘(iii) information security standards
2 and guidelines for national security sys
3 tems issued in accordance with law and as
4 directed by the President;


(this could be tightened up by removing the 'and' to read 'in accordance with law as directed by the President'. Putting that 'and' in there is potentially granting power to the President not necessarily according to law.)

Any emergency measure or
2 action developed under this section shall cease to
3 have effect not later than 30 days after the date on
4 which the President issued the declaration of a na
5 tional cyber emergency, unless—
6 ‘‘(A) the Director affirms in writing that
7 the emergency measure or action remains nec
8 essary to address the identified national cyber
9 emergency; and
10 ‘‘(B) the President issues a written order
11 or directive reaffirming the national cyber
12 emergency, the continuing nature of the na
13tional cyber emergency, or the need to continue
14 the adoption of the emergency measure or ac
15 tion.


I would like to see some language of checks and balances before drastic measures could be taken by the Cybersecurity Agency and the President to shut down segments of or the entire internet or extend shutdowns. I don't see any language here to restrain this or any future President from abusing his power.
Grinch
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14 posted 06-20-2010 05:22 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
And as with other legislation lately, the language is too vague, and the powers granted too far sweeping. I've underlined a few areas of concern in these selections:


The language isn’t vague to me Denise, I’ll be happy to explain what it means if you like, or you can simply carry on reading articles like the one you posted - written by fools who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Take this for instance:

quote:
'in accordance with law as directed by the President'


There’s no need to add that part Denise, for the same reason that similar language isn’t added to all legislation -  the President is already charged with acting in accordance with the law. It’s implicit in accepting the office of President –  in fact anyone who wants to hold that office has to swear that he will do so.
Denise
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15 posted 06-20-2010 11:00 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I worded that incorrectly, Grinch. The way it is worded now, with the 'and' inserted, essentially makes any directive from the President lawful, according to this legislation. Taking out that word means any directive he issues must be based in already established law.

From my reading of this it isn't restricted to internet communication either. It states electronic communications.  That covers just about everything, telecommunications, including cell phones, blackberries, all broadband systems, etc.

I also have a problem with the 30 days. Why would it take 30 days to isolate and combat a cyber attack, and why would there  be a need to keep extending the 30 day blackout?
Grinch
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16 posted 06-20-2010 01:51 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


The bill is related to Cyber security, electronic communications in that sphere would exclude telecommunications that don’t rely on internet connectivity.

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Any emergency measure or action developed under this section shall cease to have effect not later than 30 days after the date on which the President issued the declaration of a national cyber emergency”


This section is a protection against keeping any restriction in place longer than is necessary Denise. Why do they need 30 days? They may not, it actually states no later than 30 days, if the emergency is resolved earlier any measures put in place may be lifted, if they aren’t lifted within 30 days anyone with restrictions still in place will have to explain why.

.
Denise
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17 posted 06-20-2010 02:05 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Don't Blackberries and Broadband depend on an internet connection, Grinch? Some cell phone plans too have internet capabiity, as do some phone services now. How would all those be affected due to an internet disruption or shut down? How about television? Do they depend on Broadband with those reception boxes we all had to install last year if we had older TVs, or is that a different type of technology, do you know?

I know the 30 days is a limit. I just don't know why they chose that number. I would think anyone who knows what they are doing would be able to identify and isolate a threat in a matter of hours, not days or a month, with possible extensions of the outside limit of 30 days. It just seems too broad of a time frame to me.
Grinch
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18 posted 06-20-2010 02:21 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
do you know?


Yes.

Mobile voice communication doesn’t rely on the internet, nor does your home phone line. Blackberry and internet capable phones will still be able to make standard calls but data traffic would be affected if internet access were cut. Television transmitted by satellite, cable or standard terrestrial methods would not be affected – broadband on standard phone lines, both ADSL and DSL, would be affected but, like Blackberries, it wouldn’t affect voice data on those lines.

30 days?

If the attack is a concerted effort by a foreign government or terrorist organisation 30 days would probably be optimistic.

.
Denise
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19 posted 06-20-2010 02:37 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I guess folks who have their phones hooked up via the internet with companies like Comcast and Vonage should consider switching to old fashioned landlines then?

This woman is scary. She takes the concerns of the Patriot Act, which allowed phone surveillance of calls to or from countries where terrorists live to a whole new level. She now wants internet monitoring of U.S. citizens for homegrown terrorists. Considering her definition of what a potential terrorist is, those who believe in limited government those who want tax reform, those who speak out against socialism and globalization, those who want secure borders, etc., this is quite frightening:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/18/napolitano-internet-monitoring-needed-fight-homegrown-terrorism/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpol itics+(Text+-+Politics)
Denise
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20 posted 06-20-2010 03:27 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Oh wait, maybe a comcast phone line would work since they are cable. Maybe you would just have to unhook it from the internet and plug it directly into the cable wall connection.
Grinch
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21 posted 06-20-2010 03:34 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I guess folks who have their phones hooked up via the internet with companies like Comcast and Vonage should consider switching to old fashioned landlines then?


No need Denise. Voice and data are transmitted separately; the only voice services affected would be Skype phones or VOIP.

quote:
She takes the concerns of the Patriot Act, which allowed phone surveillance of calls to or from countries where terrorists live to a whole new level


You’d have to go a long way to take the Patriot act to a new level Denise.

quote:
She now wants internet monitoring of U.S. citizens for homegrown terrorists


I think you’ll find that she wants the ability to monitor suspected terrorists and visitors to sites suspected of recruiting terrorists. The first is a non-issue in my opinion, as long as there is a clear and secure procedure to authorise such surveillance monitoring a suspected terrorist seems like a no-brainer. Monitoring access to a site is a little more problematic, your constitution doesn’t protect email communication due to the fact that there’s no presumption of privacy but the sites you visit clearly carry a presumption and expectation of privacy –  as evidenced by the proliferation of privacy policies. Personally I can’t see that one getting past the Supreme Court – but then again I also said that the Patriot Act was an abomination that had no chance of being implemented outside mainland China.


 
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