"Given the growing cyberthreats that America faces, it is critical that Congress works with the Administration and stakeholders to enhance our cybersecurity efforts to protect our nation," Carper said.
The comments by the chairs of three powerful Senate committees make it clear that CISPA won't be formally debated in the Senate this year. Even if it had passed the Senate, the White House has hinted it would veto the bill if it lands on the President's desk in its present form.
The developments are sure to be welcomed by interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and numerous others that describe CISPA as dangerous.
Security practitioners have argued that being able to share information about new vulnerabilities, malware threats and attack signatures is vital to their ability to detect and respond to malicious attacks. Almost every major technology company and industry group supports the legislation that passed the House.
But the EFF, ACLU and others maintain that the law, as worded, is extraordinarily ambiguous and will allow the government to monitor and gather broad swathes of private information on ordinary Internet users under the pretext of cybersecurity.
CISPA proponents insist that all threat data that is gathered and shared under the provisions of the bill would be completely anonymized and stripped of personal identity data. Nonetheless, advocacy groups say it would permit communications service providers to share stored emails, text messages and files with the government.
Mark Jaycox, a staff attorney at the EFF today said the statements by Senate lawmakers are encouraging.
"Time and time again privacy advocates have pointed to problematic flaws in CISPA," Jaycox said. "Though the authors are unwilling to listen, it's reassuring to see a veto threat from the President and confirmation from the Senate that the bill will not move."
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
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