Summary Box: Bigger US role against cyberthreat?

Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2011, file photo Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. presides over the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.  A developing Senate plan that would bolster the government’s ability to regulate the computer security of companies that run critical industries is drawing strong opposition from businesses that say it goes too far and security experts who believe it should have even more teeth. “But where the market has failed, and critical systems are insecure, the government has a responsibility to step in,” said Leiberman. (AP Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2011, file photo Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. presides over the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. A developing Senate plan that would bolster the government’s ability to regulate the computer security of companies that run critical industries is drawing strong opposition from businesses that say it goes too far and security experts who believe it should have even more teeth. “But where the market has failed, and critical systems are insecure, the government has a responsibility to step in,” said Leiberman. (AP Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

THE PROPOSAL: A Senate plan in development would bolster the government's ability to regulate the computer security of companies that run critical industries.

CRITICISMS: Some businesses say it goes too far, while some security experts believe it should have even more teeth.

THE BACKDROP: The proposal is meant to ensure that computer systems running power plants and other essential parts of the country's infrastructure are protected from hackers, terrorists or other criminals. Authorities are increasingly worried that cybercriminals are trying to take over systems that control the inner workings of water, electrical, nuclear or other power plants.

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