By Will Oremus
|Mitch McConnell suggested that the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 be amended to repeal Obamacare. Courtesy of Mark Wilson/Getty Images|
Rarely will you find the ACLU and national security experts from the George W. Bush administration on the same side of a political debate. But that’s what happened as Senate leaders worked toward a compromise on cybersecurity legislation, which everyone from the nation’s largest civil liberties group to the U.S. government’s spy chief, NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander, ended up supporting.
OK, not everyone. The Cybersecurity Act, co-sponsored by Republican Susan Collins and independent Joe Lieberman, was blocked Thursday by a GOP filibuster. A cloture vote, which requires 60 “ayes,” failed 52-46.
The bill would have established a set of optional network security standards for companies involved in providing critical infrastructure, such as electricity and water. Those that complied would have been exempted from lawsuits.