Before the new session of Congress was in session, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had already passed a temporary bill granting the President the right to shut down sensitive parts of the Internet’s infrastructure. This was put in place in the event of a terrorist cyber-attack against the country.
Before the Riots
In lieu of recent events in Egypt; there have been many in Congress who have been pushing behind the scenes to renew the bill permanently. These proponents, however, have been scrutinized by civil rights activists who feel the Federal government has no place being in the position to shut down the communication abilities of so many.
President Obama was highly critical when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak shut down internet access his own people when riots protesting the legitimacy of his administration broke out. However, in spite of his opposition, talks in the US have already begun that, on the surface seem to give the Obama administration this exact authority.
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