American businesses are vulnerable to cyber attacks, yet the government doesn't have the power to analyze data from private businesses. In order to avoid putting a new regulation on businesses, the House passed a cyber security bill that allows the government to receive data from businesses, but doesn't force them to comply with the law, which Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) says is important.
"The entire process is completely voluntary and provides industry the flexibility they need to deal with the business realties," says Ruppersberger. "The bill also requires an annual report from the inspector general of the intelligence community to ensure none of the information provided to the government is mishandled or misused. This is a very important privacy issue."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is helping write the Senate alternative bill. He says it makes no sense for GOP to limit the Homeland Security Department's ability to oversee the cyber community.
"It's just misplaced," he says. "It's not sensible, it's not rational. This is not normal business regulation, this is national security."
It's unclear when the Senate will take up the legislation as senators continue to work through disagreements over privacy issues brought up by the cyber legislation.