by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 14th 2012 3:34pm
As was widely expected, Harry Reid tried to bring the problematic Cybersecurity Act back from the dead today. He needed 60 votes for cloture, which would have then allowed the bill to actually be debated upon (with various amendments considered as well). However, after a few short grandstanding speeches, the attempt at cloture failed, 51 votes to 47, well short of the 60 votes needed. Harry Reid then got up and lashed out at his colleagues, basically saying that he and other Cybersecurity supporters have been spreading so much FUD about how we're going to be attacked that he can't believe Senators didn't fall for it. Of course, one of the problems is that all of the fearmongering failed to actually identify the problems or threats other than to handwave about planes falling out of the sky and similar fanciful stories. Furthermore, it fails to acknowledge that rushing through a bill that has significant impacts on privacy of the public -- especially at a time when people are increasingly concerned about government snooping -- is a bad thing. Reid admitted that the cybersecurity bill in this Congress is likely "dead," though I'm sure something like it will be revived before too long. How about next time, rather than rushing it through and ignoring civil liberties, the government actually highlights the specific regulatory problems already in place, and why this bill is needed -- and does so while including civil liberties advocates in the discussions?
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