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Aug302009

Bill would allow president Obama to “declare a cybersecurity emergency”

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed, when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet. CNET has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency. “I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”

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