Last updated: August 3, 2012 - 7:53am
Over the last three years savvy business interests managed to water down a bill to beef up America's cybersecurity – and then Aug 2 it drowned. Key industries played one chamber against the other and one party against the other, knowing precisely where to toss their monkey wrenches.
What they did not do: race to self-regulate to appease Congress the way industries in the crosshairs usually do — a sign that they believed they'd win in the end. A powerful coalition of industries — energy, financial services, technology and others — saw trouble brewing in the Senate, where a tough bill would have forced new digital standards at power plants, water systems and other key sites. So they turned to the House, where a friendly Republican majority passed a bill with voluntary new rules. Eventually the Senate followed suit with voluntary rules of its own. But then the Chamber of Commerce swooped in and said even the voluntary standards were too heavy-handed.
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