Wyden: Cybersecurity bill would have sacrificed Internet users’ privacy, civil liberties

Josh Peterson Contributor
Font Size:

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden voted Thursday against bringing the controversial Cybersecurity Act of 2012 up for debate, citing what he said was the bill’s failure to protect civil liberties and Internet users’ privacy.

Wyden’s vote was a defection from Senate Democrats’ support of the controversial bill.

Wyden, known for his work in the defense of digital privacy and civil liberties, said in a statement following Thursday’s vote that the vote itself asked Senators to “sacrifice Internet users’ privacy and civil liberties for weak proposals to improve cybersecurity.”

“In its current form, the Cybersecurity Act does not sufficiently safeguard Internet users’ privacy and civil liberties, nor would it create the correct incentives to adequately protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats,” he said.

The bill required the support of 60 Senators in order to be considered for further debate and a floor vote; it received the support of only 52 members.

“It’s unfortunate that there was not a clear path forward on enabling Senators to amend and improve the proposal, as there was strong bipartisan support for amendments that would have addressed many of the outstanding concerns,” Wyden said.

Follow Josh on Twitter