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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Internet Kill Switch

Joe Lieberman and President Obama are now lobbying for an "Internet Kill Switch". The President should have the power to shut down the Internet, for whatever reason he chooses.

Some people are outraged by this. Think about it for a minute. Suppose the President really did have an "Internet Kill Switch".


The fact that Lieberman and Obama ask for such a thing, shows how out of touch with reality they are. A minority of people are using the Internet to discover the truth, such as "Taxation is theft!" and "The USA has a corrupt monetary system." Most people use the Internet for FaceBook and Twitter and lolcats. You can't shut down the freedom bloggers without also shutting down the other stuff.

If the President shut down the Internet, businesses like Google and Amazon would be very angry. They would lobby against such a shutdown. Software engineers need the Internet to do their job. I frequently use Microsoft's online SQL server help.

Without the Internet, the stock market probably wouldn't be able to open. High-frequency trading is done on dedicated lines, but most retail customers place their orders via the Internet. My employer offers web-based services to customers. Financial institutions exchange end-of-day summay information via ftp and email. The Internet is too integrated into the economy for the President to shut it down for longer than an hour.

What about "Malicious hackers may shut down the Internet!"? There already are procedures for dealing with a worm/virus. Those would be activated before the President would notice.

The State economy is under continuous "Grow or die!" pressure. The Internet is a great productivity tool, so State parasites weren't initially threatened by it. If State parasites wanted to kill the Internet, they had to do it when only a handful of military researchers used it.

State parasites are threatened by the Internet, because it threatens their information monopoly. It's too late for them to do anything about it. There's a valid reason to be hopeful about the future, because the Internet is helping the slaves discover the truth.

There already are procedures that State parasites can use to harass people, based on what they write on the Internet. For example, Google is records my IP address, and Verizon records what IP addresses are assigned to which customers. I suspect that many Tor nodes are run by the NSA.

On the Internet, you can get casual Anonymity but not perfect Anonymity. I'm more concerned that a wage slave employer would refuse to hire me based on my blog, than that a State thug would assault me. State thugs could try to silence me based on my blog, but if they tried that, there'd be too many people to silence.

The proposed "Internet Kill Switch" is a stupid law. There's no way the President could use it without crippling the economy and getting everyone angry at him. It's interesting that Lieberman and Obama ask for such a power. It shows that they're out of touch with reality.

I also laugh at the people angry at the "Internet Kill Switch" law. They don't realize that the President could not actually use such a power.

State parasites are threatened by the Internet, because it breaks their information monopoly. The Internet allows people to bypass State censorship and communicate directly. I notice much greater overall awareness of "Taxation is theft!" The Internet enables smart people to directly share information.

There's a limit to how much government abuse can occur, before there's a correction. At this point, the collapse of the State is a historic inevitability. Real reform is impossible. Too many people profit from the corrupt way things are now. Insiders will lobby to block real reform.

State insiders would love to kill/cripple the Internet. That isn't going to happen. The Internet is too useful of a productivity tool. The State economy has continual "Grow or die!" pressure. There's no way State bureaucrats could kill or cripple the Internet without getting nearly everyone angry at them.


Scott said...

If what they were actually asking for was an internet kill switch, your analysis would be correct. However, that is the media spin. It's not a kill switch. It's the ability of a subdivision of DHS to make any orders they like to entities on the internet, and those responsible for the entities, from ISPs to web sites, must comply immediately without question or right of appeal.

So they can say "blogger, take down FSK's guide and delete all references" and "google, remove all references to any page with links to FSK's guide that ever existed" and they must do so, and no one can go to any judge or court to appeal this, nor can they ask what law was broken because there wasn't one, it was a directive from an agency that can not be questioned and is accountable to no one but the president.

dionysusal said...

I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The NetWeb was designed to be decentralized and robust. Some speculate it could even survive a nuclear war. I doubt featherbrain dirtbags like Obama and his minions will be able to kill it even if they tried. And since they’re a bunch of know-nothing parasites, they would have to rely on intelligent, productive people to implement their dirty scheme, and I doubt they would cooperate, or if they did (no doubt coercively) they would sabotage it somehow.

Good post.

FSK said...

If Scott's description is right, then it really is a censorship tool.

State parasites would love to censor/cripple the Internet. I don't see that happening, but you never know.

If I write "agoristbay", then I could be deemed a "terrorist" and State thugs could takedown my site. I wouldn't even get a trial or chance to appeal.

Robin Smith said...

You cannot shut down the Internet. The Internet protocol was designed to survive multiple catastophic nuclear hits across the country. We now have wireless

FSK said...

State thugs could seize your domain name and order your ISP to shut down your site.

It would be tricky. Via the "Streisand Effect", any content that gets censors would be like a State endorsement.

Scott said...


The legislation would force companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects to "immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security.

Any company on a list created by Homeland Security that also "relies on" the Internet, the telephone system, or any other component of the U.S. "information infrastructure" would be subject to command by a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) that would be created inside Homeland Security.

The NCCC also would be granted the power to monitor the "security status" of private sector Web sites, broadband providers, and other Internet components. Lieberman's legislation requires the NCCC to provide "situational awareness of the security status" of the portions of the Internet that are inside the United States -- and also those portions in other countries that, if disrupted, could cause significant harm.

Selected private companies would be required to participate in "information sharing" with the Feds. They must "certify in writing to the director" of the NCCC whether they have "developed and implemented" federally approved security measures, which could be anything from encryption to physical security mechanisms, or programming techniques that have been "approved by the director." The NCCC director can "issue an order" in cases of noncompliance.

Anonymous said...

Someone could build a protocol to bypass such a law. Let's call it the whac-a-mole protocol. In the event of a known government shutdown, or hacker attack, a condition requiring sophisticated logic or AI to detect, deploy a new instance of the information taxonomy dynamically. If new instance is shutdown, deploy a second instance. Loop shutdown / deployment step indefinitely. Theoretically this sounds ok, but when applied to the real world Internet, resources would be exhausted in a short period of time - there are only a certain number of backbones that could be shutdown, if that is how the attack occurs.

FSK said...

Dealing with a malicious hacker is easy. You write antivirus software or disconnect the offending computers.

Dealing with malicious State thugs is harder. If they come to kidnap you, then you are SOL.

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