Will the president get more power to turn off the Internet?

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his first State of the Union address in 2010 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act has been around for a couple of years now, in various forms. It's meant to protect networks crucial to national security by isolating them or turning them off to prevent attacks. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Carper (D-DE), who are behind the bill's latest iteration, are insisting that the bill, the final language of which is yet to be revealed, will not affect the average citizen's ability to go online or check their email.

The bill has always contained some vague language that has concerned civil liberties groups. The new version is also raising eyebrows since it calls for the president's powers to be activated when he or she decides that a state of cyber emergency is to enacted. And there is no mechanism for judicial approval or review.

We talk to Tony Romm from Politico.com. He outlines the somewhat rough political road faced by the bill, especially the idea that it contains a "kill switch" -- something the senators deny. We also check in with Declan McCullough, chief political correspondent for CNET.com who walks us through the ambiguous language being used.

Also in this program, an app called WhereTheLadies.at. It says it will tell you where the ladies at.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...