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WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior U.S. lawmakers say the Senate will take up legislation later this week to protect critical U.S. industries and other corporate networks from cyberattacks and electronic espionage.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and other co-sponsors of the long-delayed bill said Tuesday that a series of changes they made to the legislation have won enough Republican support to get it to the floor for consideration.

They dropped regulatory provisions opposed by the GOP that would have required companies operating electric power plants, water supply facilities, financial institutions and other essential businesses to meet cybersecurity standards set by the Homeland Security Department. The new version of the bill instead offers incentives, such as liability protection, to businesses that voluntarily participate in a cybersecurity program. The White House supports the bill.

RICHARD LARDNER
Associated Press