Feeds

Cybersecurity bill clears Senate committee

Internet kill switch blunted a tad

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.