<CTRL>, <ALT>, and especially <DELETE>: Proposed Cyberczar can't unplug the internet (but the president could)

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Fri Apr 17 17:11:17 UTC 2009

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

<CTRL>, <ALT>, and especially <DELETE>: Proposed Cyberczar can?t
unplug the internet (but the president could)

On April 1 (that date may be no accident), Sen. Jay Rockefeller and
his co-sponsors introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S.B. 773)
with companion legislation creating the office of Cybersecurity
Advisor to the president (S.B. 778).

One blogger warns that if these bills pass, the president will have
the authority to unplug the internet and federalize private computer

The Washington Post account is similarly breathless: "Addressing what
intelligence officials describe as a gaping vulnerability, the
legislation also calls for the appointment of a White House
cybersecurity 'czar' with unprecedented authority to shut down
computer networks, including private ones, if a cyberattack is


Can this really happen? Could the president knock us off-line in mid-

Read the Web of Language to find out: http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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