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April 2011

An Internet kill switch bill wouldn't ensure security

Some of the most intriguing storylines to emerge from the crisis in Egypt are those related to the attempts by the Egyptian government to control the flow of information in and out of the country. The reaction of the Egyptian government to the social unrest included the disruption of voice and data communications, resulting in what appears to be the first intentional deployment of a "kill switch" -- the intentional shutdown of Internet access -- by a central government as a political tool. Simultaneously, there has been continued debate over the merits of the so-called "Internet kill switch" within the U.S., described by proponents as an important tool to blunt widespread cyberattacks. Despite recent reassurances by policymakers such as Sen. Joseph Lieberman that an Internet kill switch is not in the nation's best interests or immediate future, political winds change quickly. Therefore, the information security industry would be well served by explaining why the concept should be eliminated from discussion about cybersecurity ...

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