Bill giving Obama power to shut Web takes on new tone
The Senate bill, first introduced in April by Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), still includes language that gives Obama the authority to direct responses to cyberattacks and declare a cyber emergency.
The bill also gives the president 180 days, as opposed to one year outlined in the bill's first draft, to implement a cybersecurity strategy from the day the bill is passed, which for now could be a long way off.
But the language in the first draft of the bill, which has yet to make it out of Rockefeller's Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and onto the Senate floor, has been rewritten regarding the President's authority to shut down both public and private networks including Internet traffic coming to and from compromised systems.
Critics contend sweeping presidential power isn't good news since private networks could be shut down by government order. In addition, those same networks could be subject to government mandated security standards and technical configurations.
The original bill included the words: "The President may....order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network."
The second draft, which has not been released publicly, rearranges those words, according to text of the bill posted by CNet.
The second draft contains more convoluted language concerning the president's control over computer networks and deletes references to the Internet.
It qualifies his authority to include "strategic national interests involving compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network," but says he may "direct the national response to the cyber threat" in coordination with "relevant industry sectors."
The reference to relevant industry sectors is new in the second draft.
The bill still includes language that would have the president directing the "timely restoration of the affected critical infrastructure information system or network."
Earlier this year, critics expressed concern over potentially giving the president power to tell private network operators when they could turn their systems back on after a cybersecurity threat.
Proponents, however, including officials from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), are on record as saying the legislation is comprehensive and strong and reflects the need for thorough debate around digital security that is long overdue.
The original bill proposed by Rockefeller, and now co-sponsored by Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), touched off a storm of debate over how much power the president should have to control the operation of "critical infrastructure."
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Increase IT Performance from the Enterprise to the Cloud with WAN Optimization Massive consolidation and data mobility, enabled by virtualization, have radically altered how we build servers, design applications, and deploy storage for the emerging...
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior This scientific white paper, using statistical data from Amakai's streaming network, analyzes how changes in video quality cause changes in viewer behavior.
- Service-Enabling CICS Applications: Best Practices This informative webcast provides an informed, thorough look into CICS service-enablement options and how they can affect your environment. You'll learn how to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts