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US Cybersecurity Act 'dead for this Congress,' may become part of White House executive order

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The US Senate has once again voted against considering the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, making it more likely that the White House will implement some of the measures in an executive order. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was one of several similar bills brought this year, including the House's controversial CISPA and John McCain's SECURE IT Act. While debate on the bill has been urged by the White House, Senator Al Franken, and others, it was delayed by a Republican filibuster back in August, and the same issues seem to have led to it being pushed back a second time, meaning it likely won't be debated again until the next meeting in 2013. The US Chamber of Commerce in particular has opposed the bill in favor of a more CISPA-like solution.

"We think the risk is too great for the Administration not to act."

According to InformationWeek, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called the bill "dead for this Congress," urging President Obama to implement some of its measures in an executive order. In a statement, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel agreed, saying that "We think the risk is too great for the Administration not to act."

According to Bloomberg, Obama has already signed one such cybersecurity order, updating the policy for how government agencies would respond to an attack. However, it reportedly does not set standards for private businesses, the key point of debate for both CISPA and the Cybersecurity Act. If an executive order on business security is passed, it's likely to be a lightning rod both for privacy advocates who worry about sanctioned snooping on their data and for businesses that want to avoid regulation.