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Weekend Gedankenexperiment - The Kill Switch

On 04/02/2011, at 3:43 PM, Paul Ferguson wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM, Mark Newton <newton at internode.com.au>
> wrote:
>> On 04/02/2011, at 2:13 PM, Jay Ashworth wrote:
>>> An armed FBI special agent shows up at your facility and tells your
>>> ranking manager to "shut down the Internet".
>> Turn off the room lights, salute, and shout, "Mission Accomplished."
>> The FBI dude with the gun won't know the difference.
> No. The correct answer is that in the U.S., if the Agent in question has a
> valid subpoena or N.S.L., you must comply.

Subpoenas and NSLs are used to gather information, not to shut down
telcos.  They're just an enforceable request for records.

Considering that politicians in the US have suggested that they need
"kill switch" legislation passed before they can do it, and further
considering that "kill switch" legislation doesn't currently exist,
what lawful means do you anticipate an FBI special agent to rely on
in making such a request?

I'm not actually in the US.  In a question arising from the Egypt
demonstrations earlier this week, Australia's Communications Minister
said he didn't think the law as written at the moment provided the
government with the lawful ability to shut down telecommunications

  - mark

Mark Newton                               Email:  newton at internode.com.au (W)
Network Engineer                          Email:  newton at atdot.dotat.org  (H)
Internode Pty Ltd                         Desk:   +61-8-82282999
"Network Man" - Anagram of "Mark Newton"  Mobile: +61-416-202-223