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US cybersecurity legislation blocked

Republicans in the Senate have voted against moving forward on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, blocking the progress of the bill.

The act was introduced in February 2012 by Senators Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, and Feinstein and has engendered much debate about the balance between homeland security and privacy and civil liberties.

Although a majority of Senators supported the bill in the August 2nd vote, the 52-46 vote fell short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture, or end debate.

The White House issued the following statement in response:

“Today, despite the strong leadership of Senators Reid, Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller and Feinstein, an overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the only comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation that would have begun to address vulnerabilities in the nation’s critical infrastructure systems. Senate Republican opposition to this vital national security bill, coupled with the deeply-flawed House information sharing bill that threatens personal privacy while doing nothing to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure, is a profound disappointment. The Administration sent Congress a legislative package in May 2011 that included the new tools needed by our homeland security, law enforcement, intelligence, military and private sector professionals to secure the nation, while including essential safeguards to preserve the privacy rights and civil liberties of our citizens. Since that time, Administration officials have testified at 17 hearings on cybersecurity legislation and presented over 100 briefings, including two all-Member Senate briefings and one all-Member House briefing. Despite the President’s repeated calls for Congress to act on this legislation, and despite pleas from numerous senior national security officials from this Administration and the Bush Administration, the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability, prevented Congress from passing legislation to better protect our nation from potentially catastrophic cyber-attacks.”

•Date: 3rd August 2012 • US •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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