Author Topic: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’  (Read 450 times)

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Offline happyg

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must disclose its plans for a so-called Internet “kill switch,” a federal court ruled on Tuesday.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the agency’s arguments that its protocols surrounding an Internet kill switch were exempt from public disclosure and ordered the agency to release the records in 30 days. However, the court left the door open for the agency to appeal the ruling.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is seeking “Standard Operating Procedure 303,” also known as the “Internet kill switch” from Homeland Security. The protocols govern shutting down wireless networks to prevent the remote detonation of bombs.

The broad government power to shut down communications networks worries civil libertarians. However, the agency argues the protocols must be kept secret to protect national interests and the safety of individuals.

EPIC filed a FOIA request for the protocols in July 2012. The Department of Homeland Security originally said it could not find any records on the kill switch.

After EPIC appealed, the agency located the protocol, but redacted nearly all of the information. The agency cited exemptions that allow the withholding of information that could “disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions” or “could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.”

The court said Homeland Security wrongly claimed that it could withhold Standard Operating Procedure 303 as a “technique for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.”

The court also found that interpreting a safety exemption to “encompass possible harm to anyone anywhere in the United States within the blast radius of a hypothetical unexploded bomb also flies in the face of repeated Supreme Court direction to read FOIA exemptions narrowly.”

While the court rejected the agency’s broad interpretation of FOIA exemptions, it left the door open for further appeals by Homeland Security. The agency has 30 days to release the protocols to EPIC, but the court issued a 30-day additional stay on its opinion to allow the agency time to appeal.

http://freebeacon.com/court-homeland-security-must-disclose-internet-kill-switch/

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 07:20:24 PM »
It's one thing to shut down a few cell towers when there is a known bomb in the area.

What Obama would use this for is to shut down the entire nation in the event of an uprising or he decided to stage a coup.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline flowers

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
for later


Offline flowers

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 02:19:27 PM »
They are already testing the system on a website called Healthcare.gov and the shutdown system appears to be extremely effective.


Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 02:52:36 PM »
They are already testing the system on a website called Healthcare.gov and the shutdown system appears to be extremely effective.   :silly:  :silly:  :silly:
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Oceander

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
They are already testing the system on a website called Healthcare.gov and the shutdown system appears to be extremely effective.

:bigsilly:

Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 09:56:39 PM »
I was under the impression that the "internet" -- the physical backbone that comprises it -- was designed to be resistant to service interruptions. That, like a fine spider's web, it could automatically "route around" portions that were damaged. Or in other words, that there really can't be a "switch" that "turns the whole thing off".

I could understand how the government might order the net's major service providers to "disconnect themselves" from the internet backbone, though it's unclear if a law giving the government the authority to do this exists (I wouldn't be surprised if some secretly-passed law exists to this effect).

But pull the plug on the whole shebang? Something tells me that is unlikely.

Then again, we could always go back to short-wave radios!

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Court: Homeland Security Must Disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch’
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 08:50:04 AM »
It's one thing to shut down a few cell towers when there is a known bomb in the area.

What Obama would use this for is to shut down the entire nation in the event of an uprising or he decided to stage a coup.
Exactly.
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