Senate fails to advance cybersecurity bill

The U.S. Senate will not move forward on a cybersecurity bill.

The Senate voted 51-47 to end debate and move to a final vote on the Cybersecurity Act, but 60 votes were needed to advance the bill. The Senate had also failed to move forward on the bill in an August vote.

BSA, an industry trade group, called on lawmakers to give cybersecurity legislation a high priority in 2013. "There is no getting around the fact that we need to bolster America's cybersecurity capabilities," BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman said in a statement. "The stalemate doesn't make the issue go away."

Critics of the bill have said it would give too much power to the Department of Homeland Security, which would be authorized to set cybersecurity standards, with the help of private companies.

Other senators say the bill raises privacy concerns because it would allow businesses and government agencies to spy on customers without a warrant.

The bill also offers incentives to companies that voluntarily adopt cybersecurity programs. Carrots include protection from lawsuits related to cyber incidents.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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