Over the last few days, it became clear that the big Cybersecurity Act in the Senate almost certainly didn't have the votes to pass. However, with all the negotiating and horse trading going on, there was still the possibility on some sort of "deal." Unfortunately, it seemed like the push for a deal also meant a push towards weakening the privacy protections. In the end, there was no deal, and no Cybersecurity Act this time around
, as the vote in the Senate failed to reach the 60 vote threshold necessary for cloture (basically to continue moving the bill forward).
This certainly doesn't mean that any cybersecurity legislation is dead. There likely will be other attempts to get something through -- either something much less complex in this lame duck session, or (more likely) a bigger effort next year. The bill failed, in part, because some businesses were worried about it creating too many regulations for them. I still think it should have failed for failing to explain why it was actually needed
. The good
news, however, is that this latest version of the bill definitely took privacy concerns more seriously -- and the support for the Franken/Paul amendment would have made privacy safeguards even stronger. Hopefully this means that when the next attempt at cybersecurity comes through, that the baseline will include strong privacy safeguards. I'll have some more thoughts later on what Congress should do if it really wants to pass a cybersecurity bill, but for now, this version of the bill is dead.Permalink
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