Cyber Security Bill Blocked in Senate

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A Republican filibuster in the Senate today blocked the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.

"An attempt by the Senate’s Democratic leadership to force a final vote on the legislation failed to get the 60 votes needed under Senate rules," writes Businessweek's Eric Engleman. "The tally was 52-46, largely along party lines."

"The bill’s most vocal opponents were a group of Republican senators led by John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who took the side of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and steadfastly opposed the legislation, arguing that it would be too burdensome for corporations," writes The New York Times' Michael S. Schmidt. "The bill would have established optional standards for the computer systems that oversee the country’s critical infrastructure, like power grids, dams and transportation."

"The measure, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Susan Collins, (R-Maine), had already been watered down to meet the objections of anti-regulation Republicans who argued that forcing companies to meet minimum security standards would be unduly burdensome," writes CNET News' Elinor Mills. "The latest version made the security standards voluntary."

"But even voluntary standards are opposed strongly by many in the business sector -- and the Senate proposal would need to be reconciled with a House bill that lacks any mention of standards and that focuses instead on the exchange of cyberthreat data between industry and government," writes The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe.