The Senate had until tomorrow to vote on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The amendments that were being proposed suggested that we may be onto something decent here. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, we're not going to have a cybersecurity bill this year.
The Senate voted this morning to kill the CSA. According to The Hill, the bill only needed 60 votes to move forward with the legislation. It only received 52 votes with 46 voting to kill the bill as it stands. It's essentially the final nail in the coffin for all the cybersecurity bills that were proposed this year.
Depending on how you stand, this is actually good news. It means that the Senate won't be rushing a bill out the door this year just to get some kind of cybersecurity law on the book. Hopefully this will give the Senate and House time to properly prepare a better bill that takes the concerns of the privacy-minded citizens into consideration.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attributed the defeat of the bill to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. McConnell said that he recognizes the need for better cybersecurity, but said that the CSA was not properly thought out. He accused Reid of trying to "steam roll the bill."
Reid blamed the failed passage on the Republicans and lack of support from the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce has been against the bill from the start because it didn't provide ample protection for businesses. Sen. John McCain suggested that any future bills have more input from the business community.
It's clear that the bill failed because we're in an election year. If the bill were to be proposed next year in the exact same manner, I think it would at least go up for a vote. The fact that both sides are vying for votes through political grandstanding instead of focusing on the actual bills means that not much is going to get done.
We'll continue to follow the trials and tribulations of bills that affect the Internet, but don't expect much news for the rest of the year. We'll probably see the bill brought up again in some form in January of next year.