Politics

Senate advances legislation to better cybersecurity

Reuters

 (Reuters)

A bill to protect critical U.S. industries from cyberattacks and electronic espionage has cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate.

Lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a motion 84-11 that allows the legislation to move to the Senate floor for consideration.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and other co-sponsors of the long-delayed bill won critical Republican support by removing regulatory provisions that would have required companies operating electric power plants, water supply facilities, banking systems and other essential businesses to meet cybersecurity standards established by the Homeland Security Department. 

The new version of the bill offers incentives, such as liability protection and technical assistance, to businesses that voluntarily participate in a government-run cybersecurity program. The White House supports the bill.