Could an Internet "kill switch" proposed by US Senator Joseph Lieberman be exploited to assume Federal control over the Internet and threaten free speech?
Well, Sophos security expert Carole Theriault believes the pending legislation emits a definite "whiff" of certain elements attempting to extert control over the Internet.
"Do we have a right to be annoyed and panicked by a new bill? I haven't read all the bits and pieces...but I dipped my toe in the bill's waters and superficially, it makes sense. But, there is a whiff of trying to control the Internet - [which] is not under any central governance," opined Theriault.
"It is inherently resilient, thanks to greater geographical spread, clustering of servers and mirroring of information. This global virtual community is the closest thing we have to the concept of world peace and I guess what I don't like is US legislators using fear and doubt to convince the public this is all a great idea."
According to Theriault, the very term "kill switch" conjures up an image of President Obama with a huge button on his desk that can be flicked on a whim.
"[Unsurprisingly], the Senate [is] scrambling to thwart the image at impressive speed. [Yes], revamping [the Communication Act] which has been around since 1934 [certainly] makes sense.
"[But] doing so under the guise of if we don't do this, we are doomed so trust us is wrong. I do hope that the proposal is reviewed in detail by many experts who will not gain from it. And I hope their judgments are listened to carefully by those in the Senate."