A Senate bill would offer President Obama emergency control of the Internet and may give him a "kill switch" to shut down online traffic by seizing private networks -- a move cybersecurity experts worry will choke off industry and civil liberties.
Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 emerged late Thursday, months after an initial version authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., was blasted in Silicon Valley as dangerous government intrusion.
"In the original bill they empowered the president to essentially turn off the Internet in the case of a 'cyber-emergency,' which they didn't define," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which represents the telecommunications industry.
"We think it's a very bad idea ... to put in legislation," he told FOXNews.com.
Clinton said the new version of the bill that surfaced this week is improved from its first draft, but troubling language that was removed was replaced by vague language that could still offer the same powers to the president in case of an emergency.
"The current language is so unclear that we can't be confident that the changes have actually been made," he said.
What is the problem with this? Here's a scenario: the president either doesn't like what the media is saying about him or he knows that something he is about to do will bring some negative publicity. So he decides there is an "emergency". And what does he do? He pulls the switch on the Internet so that no one can speak against what the president is doing. Then, essentially, we are North Korea who only gets access to the news that is favorable to the leader in charge. Boy, does this guy have audacity or what?!