Last week, this site picked up a story by Declan McCullagh of Cnet that indicated that a bill by Senator Jay Rockefeller would give the president the authority to seize control of privacy networks during a cybersecurity emergency. Senator Rockefeller has issued a statement, indicating that the Cnet story was inaccurate.
Tony Rutherford of HuntingtonNews.net reports:
Jessica Tice, WV State Press Secretary in the Office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, denied the “shut down the internet” assumption and issued the following statement to HNN on Monday, August 31:
“The President of the United States has always had the Constitutional authority, and duty, to protect the American people and direct the national response to any emergency that threatens the security and safety of the United States.
“The Rockefeller-Snowe Cybersecurity bill makes it clear that the President’s authority includes securing our national cyber infrastructure from attack.
“The section of the bill that addresses this issue, applies specifically to the national response to a severe attack or natural disaster. This particular legislative language is based on longstanding statutory authorities for wartime use of communications networks.
“To be very clear, the Rockefeller-Snowe bill will not empower a ‘government shut down or takeover of the internet’ and any suggestion otherwise is misleading and false. The purpose of this language is to clarify how the President directs the public-private response to a crisis, secure our economy and safeguard our financial networks, protect the American people, their privacy and civil liberties, and coordinate the government’s response.
“Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Snowe are deeply committed to transparency and an open exchange of ideas in crafting this legislation.”
Read more on HuntingtonNews.net
Update: EFF also has concerns about this bill that mirror what the Cnet article described.