Cyber security bill fails in US Senate

2012-08-02 22:19

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A bill aimed at protecting the United States from cyber attacks failed to advance in the US Senate on Thursday, severely denting hopes for the passage of a measure backed by President Barack Obama.

The legislation was blocked amid opposition from an unusual coalition of civil libertarians - who feared it could allow too much government snooping - and conservatives who said it would create a new bureaucracy.

The bill needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to advance under rules in the chamber, but got only 52. The failure came despite pleas from Obama and top US defence officials.

After the vote, the White House blamed "an overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans" for blocking the bill, which it said would have protected the nation "from potentially catastrophic cyber attacks".

The bill was a "comprehensive piece of cyber security legislation" but it was foiled by "the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability," it said in a statement.

General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the bill was needed to protect infrastructure critical to safeguarding national defence.

"Because the military relies on this infrastructure to defend the nation, we cannot afford to leave our electricity grid and transportation system vulnerable to attack," Dempsey said in a letter to senators this week.

The revised measure had removed some parts of a bill passed in April in the House of Representatives that previously provoked controversy.

It called for a National Cybersecurity Council to assess vulnerabilities and would create a voluntary system of reporting attacks.

Robust and effective security

But Matt Kibbe of the conservative group FreedomWorks said the bill was "deeply flawed and would stifle innovation on the internet".

He said that by allowing the Department of Homeland Security to define what amounted to critical infrastructure it would "create a completely open-ended regulatory apparatus for internet security".

A campaign launched by civil liberties groups argued that the bill "would let companies like Facebook and Google monitor our online communications and then pass that data to the government without a warrant".

The US Chamber of Commerce argued that the bill "could actually impede US cyber security by shifting businesses' resources away from implementing robust and effective security measures and toward meeting government mandates."

Key senators had hoped for passage before the summer recess, set to begin this weekend, which would set up the process for reconciling it with the House bill.

Michelle Richardson of the American Civil Liberties Union said after the vote that the issue of cyber security "is far from dead".

"When Congress inevitably picks up this issue again, the privacy amendments in this bill should remain the vanguard for any future bills," she said.

Read more on:    american civil liberties union  |  us  |  online security  |  internet  |  online privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.