If you were hoping that Congress was running out of time and ready to jettison their misguided cybersecurity efforts, keep hoping, but also keep vigilant. The Senate is still at it, and to make it even more bleak, have brought in the Chamber of Commerce to advise on a compromise bill they’re attempting to craft.
The powerful business lobby panned an earlier version of a draft compromise that was prepared last month by staffers for Kyl and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), arguing that it took too much of a regulatory approach. The two senators are spearheading an effort to find a compromise on a controversial measure in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) cybersecurity bill that would require critical infrastructure operators to meet a set of security standards.
The meeting will give the Chamber an opportunity to give a thumbs up or down to the latest version of the framework. Winning the support of the powerful lobby could help break the Senate’s stalemate on cybersecurity before the legislative clock runs out.
The big hangup in the Senate has been the fact that the main bill they were working on actually required industries in critical infrastructure meet some basic requirements in protecting their own security. That, of course, is “job-killing regulation,” and has been rejected by Senate Republicans. The Chamber is unlikely to care about the serious privacy issues that the bill poses.
The White House issued a veto threat, largely over the regulatory issues, but also over privacy concerns. No word from the White House yet on the current negotiations.