Is it time for Plan B? The Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill sputtered out in the Senate as supporters, despite having a majority of votes, weren’t able to marshal the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster. While the vote wasn’t necessarily a party-line situation (or a party line situation with everyone talking on the phone at once), it was primarily opposed by Republicans who said the effort to meet basic security standards, although voluntary, would still be unduly burdensome for corporations. Also opposed were some privacy advocates who argued the bill would give too much power to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.
Now, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), arguably the most mentioned politician in Tech Report Memo history, wants the President to bypass congress entirely and enact cybersecurity measures by executive order.
“Congressional Republicans once again have shown their legislative agenda to be one big I.O.U. – Insurers, Oil companies, and Utilities. … The moneyed minions behind Citizens United have driven Republicans to prioritize the interests of the wealthiest corporations over America’s national security,” he said.
Markey’s letter comes after White House chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Tuesday that the president was considering exercising executive authority to implement some cybersecurity measures in a Senate bill that failed passage.