It’s come down to the wire, and the Senate has introduced a new cybersecurity bill.
Forget the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA). Forget, at least in part, the Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill, named after Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
In a frantic bid to pass some cybersecurity legislation before Congress’s August recess, five senators—Lieberman and Collins, along with Democrats Jay Rockefeller (WV), Dianne Feinstein, (CA), and Tom Carper (DE)—think they’ve found a solution with a revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which they introduced to the Senate Thursday evening.
It seems every politician in Washington agrees that the U.S. needs to pass cybersecurity legislation, and fast. President Obama even wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, warning that “foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day.”
For a while, it appeared that was going to be CISPA, which in April successfully passed the House of Representatives. But CISPA worried many privacy advocates. Even Obama’s staff condemned the bill, saying it violated “the fundamental values of privacy and civil liberties for our citizens.”
Lieberman touted this new bill as a “compromise” between CISPA, which would allow websites to freely share otherwise private information with government agencies if they thought it’d help stop cyber attacks, and his own bill, which would force companies to adopt strong security standards on their own.
While the bill’s sponsors aren’t all thrilled with compromising—“I still prefer the regulatory approach, and believe that it would better protect our country,” Rockefeller said in a statement—they agree it’s the best chance to gain the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.
“The measure released today represents the Senate’s best chance to pass cyber legislation this year,” Collins said.
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