Cyber Redux

Cyber Redux. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I/D-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), is not dead. The bill is stalled after the Senate rejected, by a six-vote margin, a procedural motion to advance it on the Senate floor on Nov. 14. Yet McConnell says Nov. 15 his “expectation” is that in December, after moving on from the defense and intelligence authorization bills, “we will then attempt to get an agreement on amendments to the cyber security bill.” The GOP is concerned the bill, which calls for creating voluntary standards for companies to follow to protect their networks, would burden businesses. McConnell says that Republicans want “a free and open debate” on the bill, “especially in the areas of information sharing, and providing some degree of liability protection to those companies that do share cyber threat information with one another and the federal government.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had agreed on Nov. 14 to allow debate only on a limited number of amendments. Now McConnell says he wants Reid to work with him to “reach agreement on allowing a debate on cyber security legislation with Republican amendments in order.”

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