A federal court has demanded that the US Department of Homeland Security reveal its protocol for the use of a so-called “internet kill switch.” The US District Court for the District of Columbia shot down claims made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which stated that revealing the agency’s capability to use an internet shutdown plan during “national crises” should be exempt from public disclosure. The court said this week the agency has 30 days to release its records to the public, though DHS can appeal the ruling. Officials have not indicated whether or not the agency will. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) initially filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in July 2012 for the “kill switch” protocol, or "Standard Operating Procedure 303.” In the court filing obtained by EPIC, the plan is described as an "emergency wireless protocol…codifying a shutdown and restoration process for use by commercial and private wireless networks during national crises." The protocol especially aims to "deter the triggering of radio-activated improvised explosive devices."

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