When I respond, or seek responses, I think of the Internet Republic and the people [[whump]] and the places who have made our water world Eden brave and free and fair. Permitted, required, and impossible. Stand alone or stand with, whose choice to what degree [[Thn/]] O[[thn/]]ne water world Eden under "We the people" – created by whom?

Senators Force Weaker Safeguards Against Cyberattacks
Published: July 27, 2012

(Page 2 of 2)

The staff members said Mr. Lieberman openly questioned Mr. McCain about why he was putting the interests of the Chamber of Commerce over national security and asked Mr. McCain what he would say if he blocked the bill and the nation suffered a catastrophic cyberattack.

Bits Blog: Senators Introduce Security Bill and Warn of Hacker Threat (February 14, 2012)

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Mr. McCain, the staff members said, became visibly angry and shouted back at Mr. Lieberman, saying that his reputation on national security issues was unquestionable.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Lieberman acknowledged that he had had a disagreement with Mr. McCain at the meeting but declined to discuss the specifics.

“You’ll have the most emotional arguments with the people you are closest to, and we are good friends and neither of us can conceal the fact that we don’t agree on this issue,” Mr. Lieberman said. “We agree on a lot of things, and whenever we disagree, he’s wrong.”

A spokesman for Mr. McCain did not return messages seeking comment.

The White House has worked for much of the year to persuade members of Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation that would require minimum standards for computers at critical infrastructure facilities where a breach would cause significant damage.

In March, high-ranking administration officials — including Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Homeland Security Department; Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — provided a closed-door demonstration to roughly four dozen senators on what could happen if a cyberattack derailed the New York City electrical grid on a hot summer day. In an effort to underscore the seriousness of the threat, General Dempsey told the senators that he was so concerned about a cyberattack that he had skipped a meeting of the National Security Council on Iran to attend the briefing. The briefings gave new urgency to the legislation, which for years has been the subject of talks among senior lawmakers who include Senators Collins and Lieberman as well as Senator John D. Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the Commerce Committee.

Ms. Collins said that while many high-ranking administration officials had been involved in lobbying members of Congress to pass the bill, she was disappointed that President Obama had not been more personally involved in raising awareness.

“Other than writing an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and a call to both Joe Lieberman and me a couple of months ago, the president has been largely absent from the debate,” she said.

Ms. Collins said there might have been a different outcome for the bill “if the president had been more active when we were under assault.”

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.

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