The latest bill to address the flaws in our nation's cybersecurity is now in the stage where senators can introduce amendments. While CISPA didn't get that many amendments added on to it, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is getting bombarded with amendments from the left and right. Funny enough, some of the amendments don't even have anything to do with cybersecurity.
For the moment, let's stick with the amendments that matter most - cybersecurity related ones. Out of the 70 plus amendments that are being tossed at the bill, it would seem that most are related to cybersecurity. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is leading the pack with three amendments that address major concerns that people had with CISPA. In his amendments, Wyden wants to prevent warrantless GPS tracking, limit access the government has to information stored on cloud networks, and make it so that the President must get any cybersecurity treaty approved by Congress.
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota introduced an amendment that would get rid of Section 701, a provision that allows ISPs to monitor consumer communications without any kind of oversight. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont also introduced some great amendments. His amendments would make it a crime for companies to hide data breaches from consumers, and another creates a national standard for data-breach notification. He also wants to get rid of that silly law that prevents the sharing of video-viewing online, which has been the thorn in Netflix' side in the U.S.
It was mentioned at the beginning that some senators have been introducing some amendments that have nothing to do with cybersecurity. Some of these amendments include stricter gun control in the wake of the Aurora shooting or amendments that would undermine Obamacare. CSA's sponsor, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, told senators to stop adding "these irrelevant amendments."
I think we can safely say that CSA is on its way to being a much better bill than CISPA. The privacy protections that are being introduced give people, including yours truly, hope that Washington knows what it's finally doing. Given that Obama has already said that he vastly favors CSA to CISPA, this might be the bill that we get in the end. If it can keep all of its privacy protections and survive the House, we might just get a decent cybersecurity bill that is able to protect consumers and companies.[h/t: CNET]