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Cyber Bill Stalls in the Senate

Friday, August 3, 2012 | 3:13 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

Democrats’ hopes for passing cybersecurity legislation were put on hold this week, as the Senate on Thursday failed to pass a bill aiming to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from looming cyber attacks.

In a 52-46 vote, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 fell short of the 60 votes needed to reach cloture to end debates.

After seeing several rounds of revisions, the scrubbed bill intended to offer incentives to the private sector for voluntarily sharing information with and meeting cybersecurity standards set by the government.

But in the recent weeks, more than 70 amendments were added to the bill “bombarding” it with provisions on privacy, as well as irrelevant issues on gun control and health care, according to CNET

Looking past the potential hang-ups, earlier in the week, Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and head of the US Cyber Command, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urging him to work on the cross-aisle cohesion needed to pass the bill.

“The cyber threat facing the Nation is real and demands immediate action,” Gen. Alexander advised. “The time to act is now; we simply cannot afford further delay.”

But continued delay will be the case for the stalled cyber bill, as time is running out for Congress to pass legislation in 2012.

“It’s hard to see that today is anything but a failure of the Senate and a setback for our national security,” Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement on Thursday.

“In all my years working to identify vulnerabilities to our national security, I can’t think of an area where the threat is greater and where we have done less,” added bill co-sponsor Sen. Collins (R-Maine).

Backing the Senate GOP’s block of the bill, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Associated Press that Democrats had previously “steamrolled” a more suitable bill.

And as the divide will continue in Washington, McConnell went on to add, “No one doubts the need to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity defenses.”

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Following are some additional cyber headlines you may have missed:

FEDERAL NEWS:

Cybercom Chief: US unprepared for serious cyber attacks (Defense Dept)

NSA chief tells hackers his agency doesn’t create dossiers on all Americans (Wired)

Dem senator pushes measure to make concealing data breaches a crime (The Hill)

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW:

Yahoo sued over breach that stole 450,000 passwords (Bloomberg)

HITRUST launches cyber defense platform for health care (eWeek)

Hacker can unscramble coded Web traffic for $200 (Reuters)

Hackers build private ‘Ninja Tel’ phone network (CNET)

Hacker delves into secret world of warranties (CNET)

Hacker’s post targets Derek Jeter (Wall Street Journal)

CYBER INSIGHTS:

Editorial: Cybersecurity at risk (New York Times)

America’s failing grade on cyber attack readiness (ABC News)

Time for energy industry to show cybersecurity leadership (Fox News)

US must develop Olympic-level cybersecurity experts (The SB Sun)

Let’s be clear on ethical hacking (Forbes)

INTERNATIONAL  OUTLOOK:

Finnish firm says new cyber attack may have targeted Iran (AFP)

Senior MP stresses Iran’s cyber defense capabilities (Fars News Agency)

Hackers linked to China’s Army seen from EU To DC (Bloomberg)

Two arrested for hacking personal data of 8.7 million phone users (ZDNet)

Anonymous hackers dump stolen data belonging to Australian telco (The Australian)

China’s Huawei responds to US hackers (AFP)

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This report is also featured on ClearanceJobs.com at: http://www.clearancejobs.com/defense-news/781/cybersecurity-news-round-up-cyber-bill-stalls-in-the-senate

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  1. Joy
    Monday, August 6, 2012 | 1:19 PM at 1:19 PM

    Interesting…I had a request from one of my online students who would like to participate in the Cyber Patriot program which teaches students how to become kind of cyber-detectives and to resolve security issues they see. I hadn’t realized how global an issue this was.

    • Monday, August 6, 2012 | 5:04 PM at 5:04 PM

      Absolutely. Encourage your student to keep up with cybersecurity. The issues aren’t going away and it’s sure to guarantee him/her a post-graduation job.

  1. Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | 9:23 AM at 9:23 AM
  2. Monday, November 19, 2012 | 1:39 PM at 1:39 PM

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