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Senators Consider Altering Cyber Bill

Site: hsgac.senate.gov

Following the House’s week of cyber bills in late April, a group of senators is working to get enough votes for their cyber legislation to earn a spot on the floor, The Hill reports.

Senate Democrats are trying to win over additional support for a cyber bill currently lacking 60 votes.

The House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which promotes private-public information sharing, at the end of April.

Senate Democrats and the White House have voiced concern over the bill’s inadequate privacy protections and lack of focus on protecting critical infrastructure.

They are instead endorsing a bill introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would give the Department of Homeland Security power to set mandatory security standards for protecting critical infrastructure.

The Lieberman-Collins bill includes more stringent privacy protections and mandatory standards enacted by DHS that supporters say are necessary to ensure critical systems are safe.

A group led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has voiced opposition to the Lieberman-Collins bill, suggesting it provides the government too much power, the report said.

McCain suggested the bill would hinder job creation, blur the line between private and public sectors and divert resources from cybersecurity to government compliance mandates.

Senators have been approached to alter the bill language to create new protections for the supply chain of materials used for building critical infrastructure, the report said.

Officials suggest if senators make those changes, they would win a few more votes needed but would in turn gain industry groups’ opposition, according to the report.

The Senate is expected to vote on the Lieberman-Collins bill later this month.

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