OVERNIGHT TECH: Senators scramble to save cybersecurity bill

The Lede: The fate of cybersecurity legislation in the Senate is expected to be determined on Thursday, when cloture for Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) Cybersecurity Act ripens.

By all appearances, the cybersecurity bill doesn't have enough Republican support to get cloture and move to the finish line. Still, a group of senators met Wednesday afternoon to try to see if some sort of a compromise could be worked out.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) huddled with Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (D-Md.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsA Vandenberg movement in Congress Senate approves Trump's Agriculture chief How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle MORE (D-Del.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenate votes to confirm Rosenstein as deputy attorney general Hoyer not insisting on ObamaCare subsidies in spending bill Airlines promise friendlier skies MORE (D-Conn.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C), Roy BluntRoy BluntDisconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page GOP senator: There will never be full U.S.-Mexico border wall This week: Congress returns to government shutdown fight MORE (R-Mo.), Dan CoatsDan CoatsGraham: There are 'no good choices left' with North Korea North Korea briefing moved to White House 'Can you hear me now?' Trump team voices credible threat of force MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDem: Pruitt violating anti-campaigning law with GOP fundraiser Dem senators ask Bannon for more info about Breitbart contact Senate Dems want Trump to release ethics waivers, visitor logs MORE (D-R.I.) in his office to discuss a path forward.

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGraham: There are 'no good choices left' with North Korea Graham: North Korea shouldn't underestimate Trump Give Trump the silent treatment MORE (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), lead sponsors of a competing cybersecurity measure, joined at the end of the meeting.

When exiting Kyl's office, McCain said the group was "making progress," but was quick to add that members were "still a long way" from reaching a deal.

The Obama administration kept up its push for Lieberman's bill on Wednesday, ushering out statements from defense officials that urged the Senate to act before the recess.

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander said there has been "over a 20-fold increase" in cyberattacks targeting the country’s critical infrastructure, with the severity growing over time.

"What concerns me is what we’re seeing is the evolution of these cyber events from exploitation to disruption," the four-star general said.

John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said it would be "incomprehensible" for senators to oppose the bill.

"We find it hard to believe that there is any reason or basis to oppose this legislation," Brennan said, especially since Lieberman removed the voluntary mandates included in the original version.

Comcast sues FCC over Tennis Channel decision: Comcast asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to reverse the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent ruling that the company discriminated against the independently owned Tennis Channel.

Comcast had put the Tennis Channel in an expensive sports package, but the FCC ordered Comcast to include the channel in the same package as its own sports networks.

Comcast said the FCC's decision was "arbitrary and capricious" and violated its First and Fifth Amendment rights.

Rand PaulRand PaulWe can put America first by preventing public health disasters Conservative activists want action from Trump McConnell: 'Big challenge' to pass ObamaCare repeal in Senate MORE to talk Internet freedom: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP rep: Mar-a-Lago promotion on government site ‘shouldn’t have happened’ Trump transition members urge Rice to testify Tech faces public anger over internet privacy repeal MORE (R-Tenn.) will discuss their vision of Internet freedom at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

The lawmakers have criticized liberal activists for supporting regulations aimed at preventing corporate control of the Internet. Paul and Blackburn argue the government should not set rules for Internet access.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

FTC: Privacy rules should apply to apps aimed at children 

DeMint accuses Amazon of lobbying for online tax to cripple competitors 

Dempsey, Brennan urge Senate to pass cybersecurity legislation 

Markey drafts drone privacy bill 

Online poker sites to forfeit $731 million to DOJ in fraud, laundering settlement