Feeds

Cybersecurity bill clears Senate committee

Internet kill switch blunted a tad

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A controversial cybersecurity bill passed a key Senate committee on Thursday after backers made concessions aimed at blunting widespread criticism the measure would give the US president broad authority to shut down key parts of the internet.

The bill, known as the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PDF), has been pushed hard by Senator Joe Lieberman, who argues the internet is so crucial to banking, utilities and other infrastructure that attacks on it are key to national defense. It would establish a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with the private sector to harden critical networks against attacks.

It was passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and now moves to the floor.

The bill created a stir when it was introduced earlier this month. Critics charged it gave the president an internet kill switch that was ripe for abuse. On Wednesday, the Center for Democracy and Technology and 23 other groups sent a letter to Lieberman and other backers voicing concerns the bill might stifle free speech during emergencies, information sharing and privacy, among other things.

On Thursday, language was added requiring the president to seek congressional approval to extend emergency measures beyond 120 days. Backers also emphasized that the bill would require any measure to “be the least disruptive means feasible” and couldn't be used to set aside federal wiretap and surveillance restrictions.

More from IDG News and The Hill is here and here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.