January 31, 2011

Showing their true colours?

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Government, Law, Liberty, Technology, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:42

To mark the Egyptian government’s shutdown of cellphone and internet access to their angry citizenry, the US government wants to have the power to do the same. Subtle, eh?

Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told Wired.com on Friday.

The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later.

The bill is designed to protect against “significant” cyber threats before they cause damage, Collins said.

Got to admire the balls of brass required to introduce legislation to do something in America at exactly the same time the US government is demanding that Egypt restore their citizens’ internet access. Breathtaking hypocrisy.

Update: By way of American Digest, a most appropriate image:

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