How the plan to switch Internet could be real? Is it possible? It’s no doubt, that millions of online users would say “no”. No life without Internet, no trade, no education, entertainment, communication, and everything considered to be a modern life style, a feature of informative society. No! It must be!
However, with its accessibility and openness to a wide range of a public all around the world, Internet bears a same scale threat. It’s well known how the web appears as a big propaganda tool, a scene of millions cyber crimes, thefts, pornography and other rough expression worldwide. Eventually, excessive admiration of video games and just a simple waste of time.
But, what the exception is? Is it necessary to turn it off? Well, do it! How?
Although, there is “a plan”. It calls “kill switch”. Or, in normal language: Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP). And the US government has the authority to do that. SOP is probably determined as a number of measures classified to implement a shutdown and restoration process for wireless networks in the event of a national crisis, that is a viable threat of a terrorist or cyber attack.
Recently, The Department of Homeland Security applied for approval its plan to shut off the internet and cellphone communications or SOP 303 to prevent a potential terroristic or cyber attack threat.
Since it was devised during the George W. Bush administration, today authorities have classified many details, such as the conditions under which it can be implemented and how the switch can be used.
Though, The United States District Court thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) ordered the plan to be disclosed to the public, because it discloses “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions” or could “reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.”
So far, DHS is required to release the records in 30 days by December 12 or appeal.
Generally, the kill switch involves the government to disconnect local, or localized commercial and private wireless networks in the event of emergency, such as terrorist attack or serious cyber assault. It allows federal authorities to use cellphone jammers to interrupt service in a targeted area or to turn off cellphone towers at all.
“If the government attempted to disrupt the largest physical networks in the US, it would also likely disrupt its own communications,” Allan Friedman, Center for Technology Innovation researcher commented. Another expert, Harold Feld, vice president at Public Knowledge, says it’s possible, neither, the top 10 service providers cooperated with the government, “you could shut things down fairly easily.”
As it was mentioned before, SOP 303 appeared in 2006, at Bush administration as the name of secret agreement between authorities and main telecom companies, which stated when and how the government can shut down its networks.
In July, 2012, President Obama has approved with his executive order that DHS could seize private facilities and shut down communications in case of emergency.
Although, “DHS wouldn’t have to call up the president to implement this, he would be involved in the same indirect way that he is with all kinds of executive branch actions,” – Jacobs from EPIC comments on it.