It was cybersecurity rush hour inside the Beltway on Wednesday
with Sen. Jay Rockefeller calling on the SEC to issue formal guidance on
disclosures; the House Intelligence Committee preparing to mark up H.R. 624,
the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (CISPA); and Rep. Marsha
Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introducing
the SECURE IT Act.
The SECURE IT Act, which made an appearance in the last
Congress as an
alternative to a Democrat-backed bill, would "allow the government and
the private sector to address cyber threat information in a more transparent
fashion; reform how our government manages its own information systems; create
new deterrents for cyber criminals; prioritize research and development for
cybersecurity initiatives; and streamline consumers' ability to be notified
when they are at risk of identity theft or financial harm."
A Balckburn spokesman said the bill was a complement to CISPA. ""There is no single bullet solution to cyber security," he said.
Democrats and Republicans were split in the last Congress
over whether the government should also mandate the creation of voluntary
cybersecurity best practices. Generally, Republicans said no; Democrats said
yes. Both sides concede cyberthreats are growing and some form of legislation
is needed, but it remains to be seen whether they can come together on a
compromise bill that will pass both houses of Congress.
The president issued an executive
order on cybersecurity in February after Congress failed to pass
legislation last time around. It called for the creation of those guidelines
and eased government sharing of cyber threat info with industry, but did not
deal with industry sharing with itself and with government, or liability
protections for that sharing, since the president did not have the authority to
Blackburn called the executive order heavy
handed and said SECURE IT was a "conservative, incentive-based framework that
opens up collaboration between the government and the private sector while also
providing safeguards to citizens when their sensitive data is
compromised," Blackburn said in a statement.