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Lieberman's Cybersecurity Bill Moves Out of Committee

June 24, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Joe Lieberman’s [I-CT] controversial cybersecurity bill, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs this afternoon. Though some senators on the committee raised concerns over certain sections, today’s committee action means that the bill will now move to the Senate floor.

A variety of groups have objected to the bill because it would grant the Department of Homeland Security substantial powers over the Internet if the President declared a national cybersecurity emergency (you can read more about this aspect of the bill in last week’s post on the topic). Many critics have said that it essentially gives the executive branch an Internet kill switch, and the bill’s sponsors responded to this point today by saying that the President already has such a power under Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934.

Other provisions in the bill are less controversial, and are generally targeted at ensuring that the systems of federal agencies are adequately secured. The newly-created Office of Cyberspace Policy and National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) would work with other parts of the federal government to set cybersecurity standards and requirements, and coordinate efforts within the federal government. Senator McCain [R-AZ] expressed concern that this was an unnecessary expansion of the Department of Homeland Security (which would contain the NCCC). The bill also contains provisions to help recruit students to work in cybersecurity, and requires the Secretary of Education to develop programs for K-12 students addressing the issue.

It is expected that the bill will be merged with other cybersecurity legislation, so it is unlikely to be passed without significant changes. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] has said that he would like to pass cybersecurity legislation by the end of the year. If the speed with which Lieberman’s bill moved out of committee is any indication, Reid is likely to see that happen.

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  • Blogger 06/24/2010 12:53pm

    Well, hello Big Brother!

  • Chris51 07/01/2010 9:02am

    Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

    REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat SEVARAL proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.

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    Chris51 07/11/2010 6:36am

    Republicans only care about one thing, their own job preservation. Reps are working hard to win November’s election with the help of Tea Party Movement (FreedomWorks) and their BIG CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST.

    Oil&Gas Industry Contribution 2009-2010
    Koch Industries $724,300 14% Dems, 86% Repubs

    Kosh has made big contributions to FreedomWorks, a non-profit that funds Tea Party. These 2 organizations are putting a great deal of pressure on Senators to not support UI Ext. with stimulus that require corporations to help pay back through taxes.

    Most big CORPORATIONS have made RECORD PROFITS this year by cutting jobs long-term. They started layoffs in 2007, and putting millions of Americans on unemployment.

    They created the business mantra of “DO MORE, WITH LESS”, causing today‚Äôs workforce to do more job responsibilities with no more pay. 55% American workforce are working reduced hours, reduction in pay, leave without pay, forced to take part-time to keep job.

  • Chris51 07/03/2010 10:04pm

    Why don’t our Senators get that there is a great need?

    The job market is broken.
    The corporate executives are not going to give up their year-end profit bonus by adding jobs/payroll to their companies.

    Here are a few stories on our jobless nation:

    Job recovery hits a wall

    Job gloom at all time high

    7.9 million jobs lost- many forever

    Jobless claims spike

    Thousands at risk for losing unemployment benefits

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