Senate to consider long-delayed Cybersecurity Act

The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. The building has a central dome above a rotunda with two wings - in this photo to the right (south) is the House of Representatives. iStockphoto

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(CBS/AP) The Cybersecurity Act is regaining speed on Capitol Hill, after lawmakers revised the bill to gain wider support.

Senior U.S. lawmakers say the Senate will take up legislation later this week to protect critical U.S. industries and other corporate networks from cyberattacks and electronic espionage.

The Cybersecurity Act would implement new requirements for securing critical infrastructure - online or physical.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and other co-sponsors of the long-delayed bill said Tuesday that a series of changes they made to the legislation have won enough Republican support to get it to the floor for consideration.

They dropped regulatory provisions opposed by the GOP that would have required companies operating electric power plants, water supply facilities, financial institutions and other essential businesses to meet cybersecurity standards set by the Homeland Security Department.

The new version of the bill instead offers incentives, such as liability protection, to businesses that voluntarily participate in a cybersecurity program.

The White House supports the bill. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week, President Obama urged Senate to pass the bill and for Congress to send him "comprehensive legislation" that he can sign into law.

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