Will the government internet ‘kill switch’ going to be used?

 

 

At 3pm ET on June 2, 2019 it appears that Google Cloud (affecting Gmail, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook among others) mysteriously (and almost unprecedently) went offline. Was this the trial run?

This brought to mind Obama’s Executive Order just in case you think this is a tin foil hat thing. Congress had big plans too.

Incident began at 2019-06-02 12:25 (all times are US/Pacific).

Jun 02, 20 12:25 We are investigating an issue with Google Compute Engine. We will provide more information by Sunday, 2019-06-02 12:45 US/Pacific.

One Google insider explains (via YCombinator):

I work on Google Cloud (but disclaimer, I’m on vacation and so not much use to you!).

We’re having what appears to be a serious networking outage. It’s disrupting everything, including unfortunately the tooling we usually use to communicate across the company about outages.

There are backup plans, of course, but I wanted to at least come here to say: you’re not crazy, nothing is lost (to those concerns downthread), but there is serious packet loss at the least. You’ll have to wait for someone actually involved in the incident to say more.

The internet is having a very bad day… Zero Hedge  and more of the details and a tip of the hat.

 

 

 

If you think this couldn’t happen, check back at what Obama and Congress had in mind a few years ago.

Presidential powers over the Internet and telecommunications were laid out in a U.S. Senate bill in 2009, which proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet. But that legislation was not included in the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. I caught some discussion of this at the time, and the rationale was that  “misinformation” may need to be curtailed. Where did I hear that before? Anyone still wondering where we are headed with this? Think the Dems won’t try this again?

President Obama signed an executive order the week of July 12, 2012 that could give him control over the web in times of emergency.

According to The Verge, critics of the order are concerned with Section 5.2, which is a lengthy part outlining how telecommunications and the Internet are controlled. It states that the Secretary of Homeland Security will “oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment” of national security and emergency preparedness measures on all systems, including private “non-military communications networks.” According to The Verge, critics say this gives Obama the on/off switch to the Web.

The order, known as the, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,” exists to hand over full control of communications and the internet to certain government authorities in times of natural disaster and security emergencies.

The wording for the executive order is of course lengthy and uses politician language, but the part worth pointing out is in section 5.2. It is in this section that the order states that Homeland Security will be able to monitor and control all non-military forms of communications in times of extreme measures, which is essentially giving the White House the on/off switch to the internet, according to some critics.

You can read more about the executive order, which still at the time still had 30 days before it became a law, over at CNET and The Verge. If you want to check out the order in its entirety, go to the White House press page.

Bonus:

Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness

In a nutshell, it’s the blueprint for Peacetime Martial Law and it gives the president the power to take just about anything deemed necessary for “National Defense”, whatever they decide that is. It’s peacetime, because as the title of the order says, it’s for “Preparedness”.

Quote:

Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

 

A very good day in the swamp.

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