The Cyber security Act was tabled in the senate in the spring of 2009. Internet companies and civil liberties groups were startled as this bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet in the case of a ‘Cyber Emergency’. Sen. Jay Rockefeller was forced to make amendments to his bill due to the massive opposition from all the sectors of the industries. After almost a year of rewriting that was done by Sen. Jay Rockefeller and his aides, details of the amended Cyber security act surfaced late on Wednesday.

It says that once the president chooses to “declare a Cyber security emergency,” he can invoke a “response and restoration plan” involving networks owned and operated by the private sector. Instead of giving a detailed explanation of the plan, the rewrite merely says that the plan must be developed by the White House in advance, but this is being seen as an attempt to limit criticism by the Cyber security experts from Silicon Valley. The bill furthermore, states that the White House is not in any way obliged to make the emergency plan public, meaning it could still include a forceful disconnection of critical Private Web servers from the Internet, which is what the original legislature had proposed. The revised Rockefeller bill, also called as the Cyber security Act of 2010, imposes upon the White House to develop its cyber-emergency plan “in collaboration” with the private sector. It goes on to say that “this section does not authorize, an expansion of existing presidential authorities.”

The Rockefeller bill is to be voted on, on the 24th of March by the Senate Commerce Community. The bill is expected to replace a measure known as the S.773 which is already in place. It is also expected to pass with little dissent as Mr. Rockefeller is the chairman of the committee.

The bill asks the Federal Agencies to create certification requirements for “critical infrastructure information system personnel working in Cybersecurity” and penalize the companies that “fail to demonstrate that they comply with federal specifications.” A third section commands the National Science Foundation to fund anti-anonymity research that is aimed at “determining the origin of a message transmitted over the Internet.” The bill also allows the government to craft an exhaustive set of standards for licensing “Cyber security professionals” whose job would be to supervise a single standard for security measures.

But Mr. Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said “the bill is critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records. I know the threats we face,” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the bill was tabled. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

But Mr. Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said “the bill is critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records. I know the threats we face,” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the bill was tabled. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

But many Silicon Valley industrialists are pleased that the kill switch which allowed the White House to shut down private sector access to the Internet has been eliminated. A few also opine that the government is ill-equipped to handle this job. They also believe that it is their responsibility to increase and improve security and that responsibility cannot be captured in a government standard.

This is a move that Cyber security experts worry will choke off the private sector Internet industry and civil liberties that America is known for.