Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Senator Rockefeller to Markup Cybersecurity Bill

Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) announced last week that he plans on marking up comprehensive cybersecurity legislation introduced last April and redrafted over the summer in order to revive legislation aimed at securing the nation's cyber networks. Rockefeller, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, originally introduced S.773 into the Senate last year, in response to post-9/11 complaints that both the private and public sectors were inadequately securing their cyber infrastructures.

If passed, the bill would create a National Cybersecurity Adviser within the Executive Office who would serve as the head national official for all matters relating to cybersecurity and report directly to the president. In addition, the proposed legislation would call for streamlining of cyber-related government functions, as well as a public-private cybersecurity partnership. The president would have the authority to declare a "cyber security emergency" and direct a national response to such an event.

Cybersecurity has become a key issue of concern in recent months for members of Congress as well as the intelligence community. Last month, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence announced the formation of a cybersecurity task force to evaluate cyber threats against the U.S. In November, the House Committee on Science and Technology passed H.R. 4061, the Cyersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009, which would streamline federal investments in cybersecurity research and development as well as improve cybersecurity and technical standards in the workforce and encourage cybersecurity partnerships between the public and private sectors. Late last year, President Obama named Howard Schmidt as the new White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.

No comments: