Cybersecurity bill hits snag

May 14, 2012


There’s yet another hurdle for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s cybersecurity bill: Democrats who say it doesn’t go far enough to protect consumer privacy.

With Senate Republicans standing firm against the measure, the friendly fire from Democrats means there’s only more work ahead as Lieberman and others scramble to cobble together 60 votes to move the bill.

A handful of members, including Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, are echoing the concerns of civil liberties groups, which are growing increasingly fearful that consumers’ data could end up being passed around by companies and the government as security experts share with each other information about emerging cyberthreats.

To them and others, the Senate measure as written would specify too few limitations on how data could be used and cover entities with too broad a protection from liability.

“I have serious concerns about this bill,” Franken told POLITICO in a statement. “As written, the legislation moves aside decades of privacy laws to allow companies to freely monitor American citizens’ communications and give their personal information to the federal government — and grants companies near total immunity for doing so.”

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