It seems that the so-called Internet "kill switch" legislation has resurfaced, according to the proposal's chief sponsor.
The legislation came into play the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.
The bill, being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later.
According to Collins, the bill is designed to protect against "significant" cyber threats before they cause damage.
"My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency," Wired News quoted Collins as saying.
"It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat."
The bill would not allow Internet to be shut down completely, but authorize the president to demand turning off access to so-called "critical infrastructure" where necessary, said aide to the Homeland Security committee.
However, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy and Technology, were skeptical enough to file an open letter opposing the idea. They are concerned that the measure, if it became law, might be used to censor the internet.