Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., still licking wounds from last week's defeat of the Protect IP Act and its House counterpart the Stop Online Piracy Act, is reportedly working on an even more sinister, Internet-regulating bill.
Few details have been publicly disclosed about the latest push by legislative Democrats to expand executive-branch authority over the Internet, but the Daily Caller has pieced together publicly-available clues suggesting that Reid's newest bill is even broader than President Barack Obama's cybersecurity proposal.
Released last May, Obama's proposal would give the Department of Homeland Security broad regulatory authority over civilian networks when faced with a cybersecurity threat. The White House proposal is encapsulated in the Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act of 2011, or PrECISE Act, which is currently stalled in the House.
In other words, the executive branch could take over big portions of the Internet in an emergency or a declared emergency. Known as the Kill Switch bill, the proposal has thus far been wildly unpopular, yet Reid seems poised to one up it.
Reid has yet to publicly announce plans (so far his office hasn't gotten back to us on a request for comment) but after an Internet protest effectively killed SOPA and PIPA last month, Reid seemed resolved to regrouping and pushing forward.
"There's no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can't be resolved. Counterfeiting & piracy cost 1000s of #jobs yearly#pipa," he tweeted.