Revised draft of Cybersecurity Act introduced in Senate

    Date19 Mar 2010
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced in the U.S. Senate a revised draft of the Cybersecurity Act, striking out a controversial clause that would have given the president power to shut down the internet. Originally introduced in April of 2009 by Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, the bill is designed to address the nation's vulnerability to cybercrime, global espionage and digital attacks.

    The proposed "Rockefeller-Snowe" legislation has undergone four revisions so far. The newest draft, which takes into account suggestions from cybersecurity experts in government, the private sector and the civil liberties community, includes two new provisions and five revised ones.

    An earlier version of the bill garnered criticism because it contained a provision that would have allowed the president to declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the shutdown of internet traffic to and from any compromised federal government or critical infrastructure information system. The revised bill would require the president to collaborate with critical infrastructure owners to develop cybersecurity emergency response plans, the bill states. The president's declaration of a cybersecurity emergency would trigger the implementation of these plans.

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