Senate debates president’s power during cyber-attack Staff
Posted: May 24, 2011 2:34 PM
Senate debates president’s power during cyber-attack
Senators squared off with Obama administration officials Monday about plans to give the president emergency powers to protect vital U.S. electronic networks from attacks by hackers, cyberterrorists and foreign governments.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the administration’s legislative proposal, announced two weeks ago, that would rely on a pre-World War II radio emergency law to provide the president with authority to protect key computer and communication networks — like those mainly in private hands that run power grids, phone systems and banking services — from a cyber-attack.

"I must say this baffles me," said Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, of the administration’s plan to rely on the 1934 statute.