Return of the Internet 'Kill Switch' Posted on: February 3, 2011 10:35 AM, by Ed Brayton After failing to pass in the last session, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins plan to reintroduce a bill that would give the president the authority to pull the plug on the internet in cases of emergency. A controversial bill handing President Obama power over privately owned computer systems power over privately owned computer systems during a "national cyberemergency," and prohibiting any review by the court system, will return this year. Internet companies should not be alarmed by the legislation, first introduced last summer by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), a Senate aide said last week. Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. But it doesn't just give that power to President Obama; it also gives that power to every president that succeeds him. Maybe you trust Obama with that power; would you trust Sarah Palin with it? Or Newt Gingrich? I wouldn't trust any of them with it. Especially in light of this: Portions of the Lieberman-Collins bill, which was not uniformly well-received when it became public in June 2010, became even more restrictive when a Senate committee approved a modified version on December 15. The full Senate did not act on the measure. The revised version includes new language saying that the federal government's designation of vital Internet or other computer systems "shall not be subject to judicial review." Another addition expanded the definition of critical infrastructure to include "provider of information technology," and a third authorized the submission of "classified" reports on security vulnerabilities.