Aspen Homeland Security Group Urges Immediate Passage Of Sen. Lieberman’s Cybersecurity Bill
The Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group Tuesday issued a powerful endorsement for revised, bipartisan cybersecurity legislation introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn).
The group said in a statement that it “strongly urges the Senate to vote this week to take up S. 3414, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, for debate on the floor.”
A statement signed by 18 leaders in the fields of homeland security, national security, intelligence and law enforcement – half of whom were Bush administration appointees — stated, “We urge the Senate to adopt a program of voluntary cybersecurity standards and strong positive incentives for critical infrastructure operators to implement those standards.”
The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee began holding periodic hearings on cybersecurity in the late 1990s, before the Committee’s jurisdiction expanded to cover homeland security. In 2010, Chairman Lieberman, Ranking Member Collins, and Federal Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Carper introduced S. 3480, the Protecting Cyber Space as a National Asset Act to provide the government with a clear structure for dealing with cybersecurity, including the security of the most critical infrastructure owned by the private sector. The bill was passed out of Committee but was not taken up by the full Senate before the Congressional session ended.
In February of 2011, the three Senators reintroduced S. 413, the Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act, which was very similar to the Cyber Space as a National Asset legislation. Since other committees had internet related legislation, Majority Leader Reid directed all committees of jurisdiction to come together and produce a single piece of legislation. That bill, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, S.2105, was introduced in February 2012 by Senators Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, and Feinstein.>>>MORE<<<
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said he would be “dumbfounded” if Republican members blocked cybersecurity legislation from moving to the floor for debate.
Responding to whether he had the 60 votes needed to consider Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) cybersecurity bill, Reid said he didn’t know, but noted “we have a good count of Democrats.”
Reid added that former Republican defense officials have told him “it’s the most important issue since the nuclear age began,” and he committed to allowing consideration of amendments relevant to cybersecurity.
“I’ve said many, many times, amendments will be allowed that are relevant to this issue. There’s no reason we can’t have a debate on this,” Reid told reporters. “So if [Republicans are] going to stop this, I am dumbfounded why.”
The Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group — which includes former Bush-appointed defense officials Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden as members — urged the Senate on Tuesday to vote this week to take up the cybersecurity bill for debate on the floor.
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