On July 19, 2012, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a revised version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (“CSA2012”), which they initially introduced in February. The revision includes elements drawn from efforts by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to reconcile the CSA2012 with the Republican-sponsored SECURE IT Act (S. 3342).
The new CSA2012 (S. 3414) takes a different approach than the original version to cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. The original bill would have given the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) authority to designate “systems or assets” as covered critical infrastructure and to require owners and operators of designated critical infrastructure to meet cybersecurity performance requirements, established by DHS. The new CSA2012, on the other hand, would rely on voluntary private sector compliance with cybersecurity standards. As Senator Lieberman explained, the revised bill relies on “carrots instead of sticks.”