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Overnight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers reach for last-minute deal on privacy bill
Welcome to OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY, your daily rundown of the biggest news in the world of hacking and data privacy. We're here to connect the dots as leaders in government, policy and industry try to counter the rise in cyber threats. What lies ahead for Congress, the administration and the latest company under siege? Whether you're a consumer, a techie or a D.C. lifer, we're here to give you...ALMOST THERE: Lawmakers are scrambling to strike an 11th-hour deal to move a key privacy bill that many believe is integral to reaching a new transatlantic data transfer agreement. People tracking the negotiations believe a deal has been struck, ensuring a Senate Judiciary Committee vote scheduled for Thursday morning. But lawmakers were still uncertain if a deal had been reached after a late Wednesday vote. "I know there are discussions, but I haven't gotten an update on what the outcome is yet. But I hope that's right," Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters. At issue was a proposed edit to the so-called Judicial Redress Act, which would give citizens from European countries the right to sue in U.S. court if their personal data is mishandled. The bill is seen by many as an important good-faith effort that would help U.S. negotiators reach a deal on a new Safe Harbor agreement with the EU before a Jan. 31 deadline. The original agreement, struck down last fall, permitted U.S. firms to legally handle European citizens' data. Europe's data privacy regulators have said that they will begin to take enforcement action against U.S. firms at the end of the month. Industry representatives say some lawmakers saw the Judicial Redress Act as a giveaway to Europe. In response, they floated an amendment that would force the European countries covered by the bill to allow commercial data transfers with the U.S. In addition, the amendment also included a provision stating that the bill could not impede U.S. national security interests. According to those familiar with the negotiations, some of the amendment's original language was considered overly broad, raising concerns that it might stymie the bill's smooth passage through the Senate.
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