Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt hits their Internet Kill-Switch

The Obama administration has been trying to pass a law giving the President an "internet kill-switch" to allow him to effectively shut down the internet in the case of a national crisis. Presumably, this is to allow us to resist an attack being coordinated over the internet. But as civil liberties groups have reminded us time and time again, the most-common use of such "kill switches" has been to stifle dissent.

Now, Egypt has flipped its "internet kill switch" in an attempt to disrupt protests convulsing the nation. These protests - like the ones in Tunisia last month and Iran last year - have largely been organized over social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) which allowed protesters freedom to communicate outside of traditional means.

Before we give our government the power to shut down such a powerful communication medium, we need to decide if there are enough "good" uses for such power to offset the many, many potential "evil" uses for it.

1 comment:

shadowmom1 said...

So true!