Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kill Switch

There’s a bill before the U.S. Senate that would grant the president emergency powers to shut down the internet. Which at first glance seems like another example of our congresspeople having little to no idea what technology is or how it works. The idea that the president could run some kind of giant off switch directly to the Oval Office seems pretty ludicrous even before you ponder whether he or she should have such power at all. But before you poo-poo the feasibility of this bill, you might want to read “Star Trek: The Return” by William Shatner and his army of unpaid Malaysian ghostwriters. In it, Captain Kirk returns from the grave and saves the universe from a Borg invasion by going to their home planet and flipping a giant off switch that shuts down their entire race. So, not so silly after all, is it? And while we’re on the subject, there should really be some wording in there about banning William Shatner from using this power should he ever become president. It’s one thing to worry that he might use it, but it’s another to know that he already has. More details here.