Senator Joe Lieberman and four other senators have reintroduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 with a new, modified version (view the PDF here). The act calls for the creation of a cybersecurity council chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, which would work to protect critical infrastructure in the US. The original bill, which was introduced in February 2012, called for the establishment of mandatory, government-dictated security standards, while the new version makes those standards optional for owners of critical infrastructure. If owners of critical infrastructure self-certify with the new council they would be provided benefits including, liability protection for damage to the infrastructure while the voluntary measures are in place, priority assistance with certain issues, and warnings on threat information.
The new bill also prevents the Federal government “from compelling the disclosure of information from a private entity relating to an incident unless otherwise authorized by law” as well as preventing the interception of private communications.
The bill is likely to be reviewed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this week, with a vote to move the bill to the Senate floor happening early next week. The bill has already garnered the support of President Barack Obama, who wrote about it in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.