Thursday, July 26, 2012

S 3414 Senate Debate Begins Today

Yesterday, Sen. Reid (D,NV) officially started the Senate debate on S 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Actually it is the debate to begin the debate and there isn’t yet any real discussion on the floor of the Senate. Yesterday they did schedule a cloture vote on the discussion to begin debate, a procedural vote that usually gives a good indication of how easy it is going to be to get a bill passed. At the end of the day yesterday Sen. Whitehouse (D,RI) announced that the leadership would be attempting to get a unanimous consent agreement today to proceed to the debate without having to go through the procedural vote on Friday.

In addition to starting the debate, the amendment process was also started yesterday with a number of potential amendments being published in the Congressional Record. Of the seven amendments proposed yesterday, 2 have nothing to do with cybersecurity (not unusual on a high-priority bill like this). Most of the remainder deal with data privacy or data security issues.

There is one amendment that might bear watching, SA 2579, which would add a new Title to the bill, the Cyber Crime Protection Security Act. Section _07 of that title would make it a crime to “intentionally cause or attempt to cause damage to a critical infrastructure computer” {47 USC §1030A(b)}.

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