Codebreaker

Cybersecurity bill will likely fail

John Moe Aug 2, 2012

You know that cybersecurity bill we keep talking about? The one we interviewed Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) (and icon!) about? Yeah, that’s going to go down in flames, it would seem. There’s a vote set for Thursday and it doesn’t appear that Lieberman and crew will have the necessary 60 votes to approve the bill and avoid a filibuster by opponents.
The Hill says there’s been plenty of huddling going on:

Members were working feverishly Wednesday to try to salvage the bill before the August recess. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) huddled with Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), lead sponsors of a competing cybersecurity measure, later joined the group.

So what does this mean? It means the status quo is maintained and according to most people who follow security closely: “OH NO.” Supporters of the bill say corporate security is terrible and there’s no incentive to improve it, either through mandates by the government or by incentives.
Opponents in Congress say the bill gives regulators too much power over companies even though it arguably gives regulators no power whatsoever, save for empowering them to offer incentives for companies who improve.
The Obama administration says its flabbergasted:

John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said it would be “incomprehensible” for senators to oppose the bill.

“We find it hard to believe that there is any reason or basis to oppose this legislation,” Brennan said, especially since Lieberman removed the voluntary mandates included in the original version.

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