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US Senate Takes Initial Step on Cybersecurity Bill

FILE - A photo shows an employee at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia., Sept. 9, 2014.

The Senate has taken an initial step toward passing a bill aimed at improving cybersecurity. The bill is intended to encourage the sharing of threat information among companies and the U.S. government.

Thursday's 83-to-14 procedural vote was a healthy endorsement of the bill. It's opposed by companies such as Apple, who say it lacks key privacy protections.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is co-sponsored by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr. They say it's critical to limiting increasingly high-profile cyberattacks such as the one suffered by Sony Pictures last year.

More than 21 million Americans recently had their personal information stolen when the Office of Personnel Management was hacked in what that the U.S. believes was a Chinese espionage operation.