Egyptian Actions Highlight Dangers in U.S. Cybersecurity Proposals

The Egyptian regime’s shutdown of the Internet in an attempt to preserve its political power highlights the dangers of any government having unchecked power over our Internet infrastructure, and puts a fine point on the risks to democracy posed by recent Congressional proposals to give the President a broad mandate to dictate how our internet service providers respond to cyber-emergencies.

While the 2010 Senate Cybersecurity bill (sponsored by Senators Lieberman, Collins, and Carper) was an improvement on its draconian predecessors, the lesson of Egypt is that no one, not even the President of the United States, should be given the power to turn off the Internet.

Any proposal to give the President the ability to interfere with Internet access of Americans— whether to address cyber-attacks or for any other reason—must be tightly circumscribed. It must be limited to situations where there are serious and demonstrable external security threats and must be strongly checked by both Congressional and court review, to ensure that Internet users’ rights to freely and privately publish and communicate over the Internet are protected.

The U.S. Constitution has no provision suspending our rights during emergencies and Congress shouldn’t try to create one either. EFF and a host of other organizations raised these and other concerns about the 2010 Cybersecurity Bill, and we will continue to raise them as the 2011 Congress takes up cybersecurity again.

This commentary was written by Cindy Cohn, and was first published on Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Related Posts

VLC developer takes a stand against DRM enforcement in Apple’s App Store Rémi Denis-Courmont is one of the primary developers of the VLC media player, which is free software and distributed under the GPL. Earlier this week...
EFF Brief: “Privacy” Protections for Corporations Undermines Government Transp... EFF and a coalition of public interest groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief Tuesday to reject so-called "privacy" protections for co...
Bringing the ‘social’ out of the operator walled gardens A ‘walled garden’ is the term aptly applied to the last decade of mobile operator services. And Facebook is the generic name aptly applied to the soci...
Open Source community building: a guide to getting it right Community development in open source software is not just for geeks in sandals nor for niche Linux companies any more. It’s mainstream and it’s here...
The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed We see it everywhere. Corporations are trying to take control over our communications tools, citing copyright concerns. Frequently, they are assisted ...
Ubuntu TV: Can it gain a foothold in the market place? Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution for desktops and servers, just announced Ubuntu TV, a version of the distribution...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


One Comment

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Egyptian Actions Highlight Dangers in U.S. Cybersecurity Proposals -- Topsy.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*