Cyber bill goes down in flames, for now

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The embattled Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was defeated Thursday in a vote on the Senate floor.

The bill — sponsored by Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, and Democratic Senators Thomas Carper, Dianne Feinstein and Jay Rockefeller — only received 52 votes in the affirmative, 8 votes shy of the threshold needed for further debate.

Sponsors contended that the bill’s recent revision created voluntary security standards for companies deemed providers of critical infrastructure.

Provisions within the bill, however, stated that federal agencies in charge of regulating critical infrastructure could make the standards mandatory, and if they chose not to enact those standards, had to report to Congress within a year of the law taking effect to explain why they chose not to.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, who also voted no on the motion to move forward, could potentially revive the bill in September when the members return from the August recess.

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