Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Cybersecurity Bill in Senate Committee, Quietly, on Tuesday

CQ Roll Call’s Rob Margetta reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee is set to mark up its long-awaited cybersecurity bill.

The panel’s markup Tuesday of the legislation will be behind closed doors. Here’s more from Margetta:

It’s a measure that Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., calls a top priority for this session, but it covers an issue that has historically faced roadblocks to passage.

The bill is a bipartisan measure from Feinstein and ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia that focuses on a narrow area of cybersecurity that has attracted some measure of bipartisan and bicameral agreement — promoting the sharing of cyber-threat information between the government and the private sector companies that maintain critical parts of the country’s infrastructure.

It would require companies that share with the government to strip out personally identifiable information and task the Justice Department with coming up with procedures to ensure that any shared information would only be used for cybersecurity purposes. It also would shield companies from being sued for sharing information, although it would not provide liability protection for breaches or gross negligence.

Like a bill the House passed last year, the Senate Intelligence measure would not give the government new regulatory authority. Margetta writes:

Such language has torpedoed past cybersecurity bills, thanks in part to lobbying efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Open questions facing both bills are where they would fit into a shrinking congressional calendar and whether it could garner the support of members who would like to see the inclusion of even voluntary best practices for the private sector, such as Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

  • Torr Visi

    Democratic methods that support liberty rely upon independent opinions formed apart from the corrupting influence of centralized government.

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