Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Great Internet Kill Switch

I stunned.  Apparently I live in a country of scared lemmings.  Check this out... this piece on the "Internet Kill Switch" by Fierce Government makes me want to cry.

Apparently 61% of the lemmings they called in this poll support the American President having an "Internet Kill Switch" in case we are attacked by a foreign nation.

"A clear majority of Americans would support giving the president authority to shut down portions of the Internet should there be "clear evidence" of a cyber attack by a foreign government, according to the results of a biannual poll of U.S. attitudes toward security."

I want to know who they called because clearly they didn't call anyone I know.  Can you imagine the misunderstanding and paranoia that must be gripping the average user to have answered like that?

Anyone who has the slightest clue about how the Internet operates knows this isn't possible.  The amount of work that would go into an "Internet Kill Switch" is insane - effectively hooking into every single ingress and egress point to/from the United States.  Because the Internet itself was designed to be resilient to attack, and our internet service providers work hard on this principle - it would be impossible to build in a single kill-switch that would "turn off Internet access" to the rest of the world.  Look at China!  They've tried ...and are currently failing at doing this exact thing.  China tried to build a choke-point through which "all Internet traffic in/out of China must pass" ...that's a big, fat FAIL there, Chief.

It's just insane to imaging how much re-engineering would have to be done to patch the "Big Red Button" (the kill switch) into every single possible path a packet could take in or out of this country.

Lunacy.  What the hell is going on out there?!


Ben said...

Ah, but you forget, they've moved to the TIC model at the federal level, so there will only be a handful of Internet access points for government networks. This, of course, makes them far easier to DDoS out of existence, but it also makes it far easier to intrusively monitor and filter. Methinks they'd like to force the same thing nationally - limiting the number of access points so that it's also easier to monitor intrusively (think Great Firewall of China or the failed Aussie Great Firewall).

Unknown said...

You must take all of this with a grain of salt. Remember what Aaron Levenstein said, "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." Also you have to consider that many poll takers will target a specific demographic with a specially designed question in order to gather the data they need to support their position. Or as Thomas Sowell said, "All statements are true, if you are free to redesign their terms."