The Senate failed to advance a cybersecurity measure, the third time in three years.
The measure, which failed, 40 to 56, would encourage private companies to voluntarily share information about hack attacks with the federal government in an effort to prevent more data breaches, reported the New York Times.
USA Today reported: "The cybersecurity legislation would grant liability protection to companies in an effort to encourage them to work with the government. Companies are reluctant to share information about data breaches because they fear lawsuits from shareholders who don't want the disclosure to affect stock prices. Companies also worry about running into trouble with federal antitrust regulations by sharing information about attacks with one another."
Senator and majority leader Mitch McConnell, said: “The need for this smart, bipartisan, transparent measure couldn’t be clearer,” he said, adding, “That hasn’t stopped some Democrat leaders from thinking they should try to score political points by taking down a bipartisan measure to combat cyberattacks.”
In a letter to Katherine Archuleta, the director of the personnel agency, the head of the largest government employee union said the agency’s failure to encrypt government workers’ Social Security numbers constituted “a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous,” the Times reported.
The breach, wrote J. David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, “represents an abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal work force.”