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If the Senate votes for the Internet ‘kill switch’ bill President Barack Obama will be handed the power to shut down the Internet for at least four months at a time.

The bill was approved by a key Senate committee yesterday and it will now move to the floor.

Senator Joe Lieberman is making a hard push for The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Act.

The bill would hand absolute power to the federal government to close down networks and block incoming Internet traffic from certain countries under a declared national emergency.

Despite many letters from the Center for Democracy and Technology and other private firms concerned that the bill could be used to suppress free speech, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the bill.

Because of the negative response to the bill language was added that would force the government to seek approval to extend the Internet ban for more than four months at a time.

The Senate argues “That the President already had authority under the Communications Act to “cause the closing of any facility or station for wire communication” when there is a “state or threat of war”, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, when Lieberman made reference to China’s Internet policing policies on Sunday it made those protesting the bill even more fearful of what it could mean.

Lieberman told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too.”

While this may be true, comparing the United States democracy to the communist government in China is never a good move.

How do you feel about the government controlling your Internet?