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August 06, 2012

Cybersecurity Act is Dead, Lieberman and Others React

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

The Cybersecurity Act, established by the Obama Administration in February of 2012, is now dead due to the failed cloture on August 2. The impassioned arguments against the act came mostly from the GOP – which could not move past the notion that the Executive Branch of government would have power over private businesses.

Proponents of the act also took power into consideration – but the kind of power provided by utility companies.

Senator Joe Lieberman sponsored what many are now considering the most significant cyber bill proposed this year over SOPA, PIPA or CISPA: the CSA bill.

The length of last year’s hack attacks has shown how hacktivists can do some serious cyber damage and there are virtually no systems anywhere in the world that are immune.

What the CSA bill proposed was that there should be some sort of unified system that would protect businesses like utility companies from cyber attacks. So the fundamental cause of the debate is over whether private businesses can rely on their own security systems, and even if can’t, is any business of the government?

Although some will argue that a key point of the CSA bill stems from privacy issues, businesses have expressed that money is what concerns them the most. After all, how much will these government regulated security systems cost them in time and resources?

Those who point out government incentives and other bonuses that suggest businesses cannot afford to not submit to the government’s plan counter this argument.

The government’s capability to fend off cyber attacks is also under question. Hilary Clinton addressed the public in a keynote speech back in May about how the implementation of a “digital outreach team” whose primary job was to counter Al-Queda’s online propaganda is demonstrative of the government’s digital edge.

President Obama’s efforts with his digital campaigning have also one him praise. But when the FBI posted a public ad from the non-governmental IT community for someone to assist in creating a social media surveillance tool, some people pointed out that the Mecca for technological innovation is at Silicon Valley – not the White House.


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Edited by Braden Becker
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