The Four House Cybersecurity Bills
ITI supports the four cybersecurity bills being voted on by the House of Representatives on Thursday, April 26th, because they help improve our personal security. As we rely more on our computers, smart phones, and tablets for work, entertainment, banking, shopping and communicating, new breeds of cybercriminals, hacktivists, and rogue nations have become as adept at exploiting the vulnerabilities of our digital world. As noted in a previous post, the volume of Web-based intrusions per day increased by 93 percent from 2009 to 2010 – and the numbers continue to rise.
The bills are central to a strengthened effort to protect Americans from cyber threats. They improve the ability of the private sector and government to protect themselves by sharing cyber threat information, updating the government’s management of its own information technology, and focusing cybersecurity R&D on areas with the most impact. Specifically:
- H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, would improve the ability of the private sector to share cyber threat information with others in the private sector and the government on a voluntary basis. This additional information should help the private sector and government to take steps to protect themselves without adding unnecessary expense or bureaucracy. We appreciate the progress made by the bill’s sponsors to better safeguard individuals’ information while allowing for a cyber threat information sharing system to help protect all of us online.
- H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act, would enhance the security framework for information technology systems that support the federal government. It rightly focuses on automated and continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats and the implementation of regular threat assessments.
- H.R. 3834, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2012, would direct federal agencies participating in certain networking and information technology R&D programs to ensure that R&D has the potential for significant contributions to national economic competitiveness and for other societal benefits, and requires the participating federal agencies to develop and regularly update a strategic plan.
- H.R. 2096, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2011, would allow the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research into the detection, investigation, and prosecution of cyber-crimes involving organized crime and crimes against children. It also would direct the President to issue a report on the cybersecurity workforce needs of the federal government.
ITI will consider scoring votes in support of final passage of H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act and H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012, and these votes could be included in our 112th Congressional Voting Guide. The ITI voting guide serves as a unique reference tool and is the only technology-focused evaluation of Congress cited in the Almanac of American Politics. The guide highlights congressional commitment to policies important to the technology sector and how successful the tech industry has been in raising awareness of technology as a driving force behind American economic growth, innovation, and job creation.
ITI will continue to work with lawmakers and stakeholders on these bills as the votes begin in the House on Thursday.