Senate Committee passes major cybersecurity legislation

June 28, 2010

A U.S. Senate committee on Thursday unanimously passed a controversial cybersecurity bill, which would grant the president emergency power over critical infrastructure networks, in addition to creating cybersecurity offices within the White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 –

Among the many provisions included in the nearly 200-page bill is one that would allow the president to authorize emergency measures to protect public or private critical infrastructure in the event or imminent threat of a cyber vulnerability, according to a summary of the legislation. The bill would not authorize the use of any new surveillance mechanisms or allow the government to take control of private networks.

Critics of the bill say it will give the government too much power, particularly giving the president a so-called “kill switch” to shut down the internet.

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