After Egypt fell off the map due to the government ordering the successful shut down of the Internet there was a lot of talk about developing a similar protocol in the United States. Ever since the invention of the Internet politicians have been advocating for the development of a shutdown switch for the Internet that the President and the government would have control over.
The proposed shutdown switch would be similar to what is considered the 3 a.m. wake up call. When there was a national crisis the President or the government would make a call to the Internet providers and the Internet would shut down completely.
Politicians believe that this would be able to control public outcry and widespread panic should something happen that would be of a national crisis level. However, the public does not see it as that way. The public believes that should there be a government shut off switch it could lead to other government involvement with the Internet. If they control where the Internet is on and when people can use it what is to stop them from taking down forums where freedom of speech covers what is said and typed out. Skeptics of this government switch believe that there isn’t much to distinguish this difference. They also believe that there is very little protocol for what constitutes a national crisis and under the theory any government official could feel threatened and shut down the whole Internet before panic ensues.
While the idea of a government shut off switch for the Internet might sound a bit extreme it will never go away completely in the White House. There will be politicians that advocate for it no matter how impossible it is. The whole very idea of being able to coordinate a complete shutdown of the whole nation’s computer systems as well as cellphone and PDA services is extreme and will not be a likelihood in this day and age.