Obama administration supports new cybersecurity bill
The bill, to be debated in the Senate soon, will strengthen the U.S. cybersecurity response, the OMB says
IDG News Service - The Obama administration "strongly supports" a new cybersecurity bill scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor soon, even though some of its provisions are watered down from earlier legislation, the White House Office of Management and Budget said Thursday.
The revised Cybersecurity Act, introduced by five senators last Friday, mirrors many of the White House cybersecurity proposals, the OMB said in a press release. The Senate could begin debating the bill as early as Friday.
"While lacking some of the key provisions of earlier bills, the revised legislation will provide important tools to strengthen the nation's response to cybersecurity risks," the OMB said.
The agency called for several changes to the bill, however.
Some tech groups have raised concerns about the bill. It has several good provisions, but it also gives too much authority to a new National Cybersecurity Council, said Larry Clinton, president and CEO of the Internet Security Alliance, a cybersecurity advocacy group. The new board, made up of presidential appointees from several federal agencies, would create what the bill calls voluntary cybersecurity standards for operators of systems designated as critical infrastructure.
The council is "granted ultimate authority over cybersecurity practices and standards," Clinton wrote in a Wednesday letter to Senate leaders.
Although the council standards are labeled as voluntary, regulatory agencies overseeing industries would have to defend any departures from the recommendations to Congress, Clinton said. "The practical effect is to place all authority in the hands of this new, untested Council," he wrote.
Clinton also raised concerns that the bill would give the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission new powers, turning it into a "cyber compliance agency." The bill also limits what cyberthreat information businesses can share with each other and doesn't protect businesses that share information with each other from lawsuits, Clinton wrote.
The bill also does not allow businesses to share information for national security reasons, he added.
The information-sharing system in the bill is "unclear and potentially counter-productive to national security needs," he wrote.
The OMB praised the bill, however, for its "strong protections for privacy and civil liberties." Several civil liberties groups praised the revised bill after raising concerns about the breadth of information sharing allowed in an earlier bill from Senators Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican. Lieberman and Collins are also the lead sponsors of the new bill.
"It is essential that the collection, use, and disclosure of such information remain closely tied to the purposes of detecting and mitigating cybersecurity threats, while still allowing law enforcement to investigate and prosecute serious crimes," the OMB said. "All entities -- public and private -- must be accountable for how they handle such data. "
- API Playbook: Drive API Adoption Through Developer Engagement Learn the best practices of how to engage developers, whether your goal is to attract external developers to your public APIs or improve...
- Leverage the Power of APIs to Turbocharge Your Mobile Strategy: 7 Steps to a Successful API Program In this guide, Intel® Services-which offers industry-leading API management solutions for over 150 top enterprises, including Best Buy, Netflix, Expedia, ESPN, and The...
- Troubleshooting Common Issues in VoIP Learn more about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including common VoIP metrics used, best practices in VoIP management and tips and tricks for...
- IDG Research Survey: Are you Paying Too Much for Your NMS? Feel like you're paying too much for network monitoring? You're not alone. This survey brief summarizes findings from research recently fielded by IDG...
- API Management: The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience Join PhoCusWright's Senior Technology Analyst, Norm Rose, as he shares his insights on how travel suppliers and intermediaries can improve industry data flow...
- Tips to Simplify Database Administration and Development Make your job easier while getting the most from the leading productivity tool for database professionals. Learn tips from Dell Software's Oracle® ACE,... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts