Cybersecurity News: The Current State of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012: “To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

As you may or may not know, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), was defeated in the Senate after failing to gain the 60 votes necessary to move the bill past cloture and go up for a full vote. Obviously, the Act is still not ready, at least in the eyes of the Senate. And Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), a strong proponent for national cybersecurity, agrees. But he also acknowledges that something must be done.

“News reports and experts confirm that our nation’s critical infrastructure-such as our water systems, our power grid, and so forth-are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and foreign governments,” said Sen. Franken. “…Our nation needs to respond to those threats.”

Luckily, Franken has a solution. Rather than scrapping the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 all together, Franken believes it can be amended.

“The Cybersecurity Act is not perfect, but when it comes to striking a balance between cybersecurity and privacy and civil liberties, it is the only game in town,” said Sen. Franken. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to write a good cybersecurity bill-because when you try to make it easier for the government or Internet companies to detect and stop the work of hackers or other bad actors, you often end up making it very easy for those same entities to snoop in on the lives of innocent Americans.”

Franken has proposed several amendments that would remove provisions found in Section 701 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the authority to monitor and take actions against their users. It is the Senator’s hope that these amendments will alleviate many of the issues that his fellow Senators have with the Act.

“And I hope that my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in passing this amendment,” added Sen. Franken.

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