Harry Reid, BSA Lament The Death of Cybersecurity Bill in 2012

The Inquirer reports that the the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is lamenting the death of Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) after its Senate counterpart – the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was voted down in the Senate. Prior to that the bill could not get past a filibuster because it didn't have the required 60 votes to overcome it. The latest action on the bill puts the issue to bed for 2012 – at least.

"It is disappointing that senators haven't yet been able to reach an agreement on cybersecurity legislation – but stalemate doesn't make the issue go away," said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman in a statement. "There is no getting around the fact that we need to bolster America's cybersecurity capabilities. We urge both parties to put this issue at the top of the agenda in the next Congress."

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) also lamented the rejection of CISPA, saying that not approving the bill leaves the US wide open to cyber attack. At least he didn't warn us of a pending "cyber 9-11."

"National security experts say there is no issue facing this nation more pressing than the threat of a cyber attack on our critical infrastructure," said Senator Reid. "Terrorists bent on harming the United States could all too easily devastate our power grid, our banking system or our nuclear plants," he said, playing on largely imaginary internet security fears.

"A bipartisan group of Senators has worked for three years to craft this legislation," he continued. "Yet Republicans filibustered this worthy measure in July. It's imperative that Democrats and Republicans work together to address what national security experts have called 'the most serious challenge to our national security since the onset of the nuclear age sixty years ago.'"

The Electronic Frontier Foundation described CISPA as "dangerously vague" and noted that it gave corporations immunity allowing for the carte blanche sharing of information to any government agencies that wanted it.

"We're looking forward to having a more informed debate about cybersecurity next session, and hope Congress will bear in mind the serious privacy interests of individual Internet users," said EFF senior staff attorney Lee Tien. "We don't need to water down existing privacy law to address the challenges of cybersecurity."

Source: The Inquirer

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