Bipartisan Congressional Effort Seeks to Remove ‘Internet Kill Switch’
A bipartisan group of House and Senate members is pushing legislation to prevent a president from using a so-called “Internet kill switch” to take control of online communications during an emergency.
The “Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Act of 2020” targets a “World War II-era amendment to Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934.”
According to this section of the law:
…the Executive [is given] sweeping authority to put under direct government control or even shut down ‘any facility or station for wire communication’ should a president ‘[deem] it necessary in the interest of the national security and defense ’following a proclamation ‘that there exists a state or threat of war involving the United States.’
The bill’s sponsors say the measure will:
..strip out this “Internet Kill Switch” and help shut the door to broader government surveillance or outright control of our communications channels and some of Americans’ most sensitive information. The legislation would also reassert a stronger balance of power during a national emergency between the Executive Branch and the people’s representatives in Congress.