On Wednesday, November 15, 2012, the Senate once again defeated cybersecurity legislation backed by President Barack Obama. The bill failed to get the 60 votes necessary to bring it up for passage, with only 51 senators backing the measure.
“It to some degree hardens the lines of division, which makes it more likely we’ll see an executive order, rather than an attempt to revive the legislation in the near term,” said Stewart Baker, a former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy.
And that is exactly what many expect President Obama to do.
“The only other thing that can produce legislation is a major cybersecurity meltdown,” said Brown.
And according to a National Academy of Sciences report last week, this too is a very real possibility. The report noted the ability of terrorists to attack the power grid and damage hard-to-replace components, blacking out large segments of the United States for weeks or even months.
In fact, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated that a cyber attack could be as destructed as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The defeated cybersecurity bill, first introduced in February on 2012 by Senators Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would have created voluntary cybersecurity standards for companies operating critical infrastructures (power grids, nuclear and chemical plants, and more). The bill would have also encouraged the sharing of information between these companies and the government regarding cyber threats.
So what’s next for our country’s cybersecurity?
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Source: Cybersecurity bill’s death opens door for Obama executive order