In a small victory for privacy and tech groups, the United States Senate has opted to delay a vote on its latest cyber security bill until September (emphasis added):
Lawmakers worked for days on an agreement about which amendments to include on the cyber bill, but Senate leaders pulled the plug at the last minute on a vote scheduled first for 10:30 a.m, then for 2 p.m. Then they decided to skip town.
Under the deal senators struck Wednesday afternoon, the cyber bill will come up again in September after recess, and 21 Democratic and Republican amendments will receive votes.
The bill—put forward by the top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sens. Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein—would offer incentives to the private sector to share information about cyberthreats with the government.
Supporters, including senators from both parties and many in the private sector, say the information sharing legislation would make for stronger cyberdefenses against hackers. But privacy advocates in and out of the Senate have raised flags about the bill’s treatment of Americans’ sensitive information, saying it will violate personal privacy, and security experts have questioned the bill’s effectiveness.
The fight is not yet over but this is absolutely a step in the right direction. There remains a lot of work to ensure Congress does not pass pointless legislation, especially when CISA is essentially a completely unnecessary surveillance bill.