Chertoff: Internet Kill Switch Would Be "Troubling"

If Senators Joe Lieberman (I, Conn.) and Susan Collins (R, Maine) have their way, the President of the United States would have the authority to shut down the Internet in the country in the event of a cyber-attack or cyber-war–in other words, have access to an “Internet kill switch.”

But don’t count Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, among the fans of this idea. From a purely practical standpoint, he said, shutting down the Internet would likely cause as much collateral damage to the United States as any Internet-based attack because of the difficulty in recovering from such a shut-down.

Moreover, he said, giving a president that kind of authority would be “troubling, at least for me personally.”

Mr. Chertoff left the DHS in January 2009, and is now the chairman of the Chertoff Group consulting firm.

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