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Senators file dozens of amendments to Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill

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Senators could begin voting on the Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill (S. 3414) Aug. 2, the previous days having been consumed with the filing of rival amendments.

Bill sponsor Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) estimated July 31 that 70 have been filed already, many of them not germane. "Nobody believes we're going to repeal Obamacare this week or we're going to adopt gun control legislation," he told his colleagues July 31, urging restraint.

Debate held for just relevant amendments will likely prove contentious anyhow. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), sponsor of a rival cybersecurity bill (S. 3342), has offered his bill as a substitute amendment and in a July 26 speech said the Lieberman-Collins bill "would do more to harm our country's economy and expand the size and influence of the federal government."

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), meanwhile, has offered an amendment (.pdf) that would increase the penalties for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and another that would require the government to obtain a warrant based on probable cause any time a law enforcement agency wants to search the contents of electronic communications.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) proposed an amendment (.pdf) that would eliminate two controversial provisions from the bill, one of which would allow Internet service providers to scan communication contents for cybersecurity threats and deploy countermeasures.

In a July 25 statement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said Franken's amendment would "remove the worst part" of the Lieberman-Collins bill.

For more:
- go to the THOMAS page for S. 3414
- go to the THOMAS page for S. 3342
- download Sen. Leahy's amendment (.pdf)
- download Sen. Franken's amendment (.pdf)

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