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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:38 AM

Senate Vote Kills Cybersecurity Bill, For Now

Senate Vote Kills Cybersecurity Bill, For Now

A controversial bill known as The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and backed by the Obama Administration, did not receive the 60 votes it needed in the Senate to move forward on Thursday.

Instead, with the clouture vote coming in at 52 to 46, the legislation – which would have set up a system to allow private companies and government agencies to share information with each other about national security threats, information that could include private Web user data – appears dead for now, as Congress is scheduled to go on August recess on Friday and won’t return until September 7. With Congress resuming its session so close to the election, it is unlikely the bill, or any alternatives, will end up getting passed this year.


Roll call: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00187

White House Blasts Senate For Failing To Pass Cybersecurity Bill

The White House is not happy with the Senate’s vote Thursday not to move forward on The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, a bill that would have set up a system for private companies and government agencies to share information – including Web user data – about suspected national cybersecurity threats. The White House and President Obama had strongly backed the bill. As the White House Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement:

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.


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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Senate Vote Kills Cybersecurity Bill, For Now (Original post)
ProSense Aug 2012 OP
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #1
ProSense Aug 2012 #2
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #3
woo me with science Aug 2012 #4
ProSense Aug 2012 #5
ProSense Aug 2012 #6
ZM90 Aug 2012 #7
woo me with science Aug 2012 #8

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:42 AM

1. Good.


That Bill was terrible...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:46 AM

2. Republicans agreed, the ACLU

not so much.

New Cybersecurity Amendments Unveiled to Address Privacy Concerns

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

No cyber news is usually good news, but today is an exception. Senators have unveiled significant privacy amendments that will be incorporated into S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act. Authored by Sens. Lieberman, Feinstein, Rockefeller and Collins, the bill provides comprehensive cybersecurity reform, including a new ‘information sharing’ program that permits companies to share internet info with each other and the government.

We’ve told you about the risks of information sharing in the past (hello, CISPA), and in fact have raised our concerns with this legislation in particular. But thanks in large part to ACLU members and activists who have logged tens of thousands contacts with Congress, we’ve made progress. Sens. Franken and Durbin and other privacy advocates have negotiated substantial changes that will:

  • Ensure that companies who share cybersecurity information with the government give it directly to civilian agencies, and not to military agencies like the National Security Agency. The single most important limitation on domestic cybersecurity programs is that they are civilian-run and do not turn the military loose on Americans and the internet.

  • Ensure that information shared under the program be “reasonably necessary” to describe a cybersecurity threat.

  • Restrict the government’s use of information it receives under the cyber info sharing authority so that it can be used only for actual cybersecurity purposes and to prosecute cyber crimes, protect people from imminent threat of death or physical harm, or protect children from serious threats.

  • Require annual reports from the Justice Department, Homeland Security, Defense and Intelligence Community Inspectors General that describe what information is received, who gets it, and what is done with it.

  • Allow individuals to sue the government if it intentionally or willfully violates the law.
- more -


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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:50 AM

3. The ACLU can go pound sand on this one too...



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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:15 PM

4. The post you just responded to was spinning the ACLU's position

(1) to try to imply that the President has not supported CISPA-like language all along and (2) to try to imply more enthusiastic support by the ACLU for this bill than they actually had:

1. The ACLU's support for this version was tepid and reluctant at best. Read the series of articles on their site. They explained clearly that they had opposed this bill all along but saw it as a "train leaving the station," so they were forced to focus on amendments that would make it less pernicious.

2. The amendments which were trumpeted as helping to make this bill not quite as fascistic as it otherwise would have been came about solely as a result of activism on the part of ACLU and citizens concerned about privacy and expression rights. Obama, by contrast, has been pushing this bill since well before those amendments were added. http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2490-White-House-Indicates-Support-for-Cybersecurity-Bill-That-Includes-CISPA-Like-Language

3. The ACLU also states clearly on their site that amendments are in the works to strip the bill of the privacy features that are being hailed now in the press, and given Obama's support for earlier versions of the bill, it is quite clear that he would have no problem with such amendments.

Citizens need to keep the heat on and oppose this disaster, because it will surely keep coming back. The NSA has built a multi-billion-dollar surveillance center in Utah, and they intend to use it.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:17 PM

5. Senate Blocks Improved Cybersecurity Bill

"The post you just responded to was spinning the ACLU's position"

It was an ACLU press release verbatim.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:18 PM

6. ACLU: Senate Blocks Improved Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Blocks Improved Cybersecurity Bill

WASHINGTON – The Senate today voted against moving forward on cybersecurity legislation ending the bill’s chances at final passage.

S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act, was recently significantly improved with several new privacy- oriented changes, including a mandate that information shared with the government under the program go to civilian agencies and not the National Security Agency or other military components.

The bill would have required annual reports from the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense as well as the Intelligence Community Inspectors General, which would have described what information is received, who gets it, and what is done with it. It also would have given Americans the right to sue the government if it intentionally or willfully violates the law.

“Regardless of today’s vote, the issue of cybersecurity is far from dead,” said Michelle Richardson, ACLU legislative counsel. “When Congress inevitably picks up this issue again, the privacy amendments in this bill should remain the vanguard for any future bills. We’ll continue to work with Congress to make sure that the government’s cybersecurity efforts include privacy protections. Cybersecurity and our online privacy should not be a zero sum game.”


Do you feel embarrassed?

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:21 PM

7. We can defeat whatever they throw at us, I mean the internet beat SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA.

So any other internet censorship bill or censorship treaty should go down in flames. The internet is currently the most powerful political force in the world and you DON'T fuck with it. That is why the corporate powers are so afraid of it.

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Response to ZM90 (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:44 PM

8. Short attention spans are my concern,

especially compared with the persistence of the one percent and their purchased politicians who really, really want this. The bills just keep coming and coming and coming...and they intend to keep them coming until one slips through.

Remember the SOPA threads on DU? They generated hundreds and hundreds of replies and posts with numbers to call and addresses to write and protest. The threads about this more recent bill have sunk rapidly...and that's true on boards across the internet. Americans have trouble sustaining outrage, even when it's desperately necessary.

Remember also that when Obama signed ACTA (and tried to hide it from Americans by claiming "national security" to keep it out of the press http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2058658), the protests that eventually bubbled up here were much, much smaller than their counterparts in Europe.

Add to that that the politicians are absolutely shameless about how they spin and package these things for public consumption. Remember this one, that they tried to pass off as a measure to prevent child pornography: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002197126

And now we get spin and blather about the ACLU loving Lieberman's bill, when they state clearly themselves that they are merely trying to get the least harmful version of something they consider inevitable...

I hope you are right that we can keep beating these back. I wish I were as confident as you are. They have already invested in a massive domestic surveillance infrastructure, and I think they are quite confident they will be able to use it.

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