THE CYBER SECURITY ACT 2012 has failed to pass in the US Senate following a 52 to 46 vote on Thursday.
In failing to gain the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, the bill's demise essentially blocks possible passage of the notorious Cyber Intelligence and Protection Act (CISPA), which was a response to the Cyber Security Act in the US House of Representatives.
Introduced in February, the Cyber Security Act aimed to strengthen US defences against cyber attacks and encourage information sharing on threats between businesses and the US government.
It was backed by President Obama and companies such as Oracle, which claimed the bill was necessary considering the growing cyber threat landscape.
The White House put its weight behind the bill in the days leading up to the Senate vote but disagreements on late added amendments were said to have killed it.
"Today, despite the strong leadership of Senators Reid, Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller and Feinstein, an overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the only comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation that would have begun to address vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructure systems," the White House said in a release.
"Senate Republican opposition to this vital national security bill, coupled with the deeply-flawed House information sharing bill that threatens personal privacy while doing nothing to protect the nation's critical infrastructure, is a profound disappointment."
Despite it being seen as a blow to the US administration, which for the past year has struggled to pass technology based legislation such as PIPA and SOPA, but failed - the defeat of CISPA is great news for the privacy of individuals in the US.
If the bill had passed, it would have granted US government agents the ability to spy on all US internet users' online activity without needing to get subpoenas or warrants to obtain information.
CISPA also would have allowed US companies such as Facebook and Google permission to analyse all online activity, without telling users they were being watched. Moreover, it would have provided the US government and corporations with immunity to protect them from being sued for violations of privacy and other illegal actions.
With that in mind, the US senators who voted against CISPA should be commended for heading off another attempt by authoritarian politicians and corporations to violate US Constitutional rights. µ
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