HSC: Cybersecurity legislation is ‘top’ priority next Congress

One of the top priorities for new House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is to bring a cybersecurity bill to the floor that hasbuy-in from industry.

McCaul said he plans on meeting with industry players, including tech companies and critical infrastructure operators, to get their feedback on what measures they think should be in cybersecurity legislation. McCaul said he also hopes to travel with other committee members to various sites where critical infrastructure is housed.

“I think cybersecurity legislation will be the top legislative priority for the committee next Congress and after I appoint the subcommittee chair of cybersecurity, I initially intend to hold a ‘listening post’ with stakeholders—whether it be the high-tech sector, critical infrastructures in the private sector—to get their take on legislation, what they would like to see in a bill in an attempt to get buy-in from the private sector in what we do,” McCaul said.

McCaul said his bill would aim to improve information-sharing between industry and government about cyber threats, but it needs toincentivize that relationship rather than rely on enforcement.

McCaul expects other House committees will tee up cybersecurity-related legislation introduced this past year for consideration in 2013, including the Intelligence Committee’s Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Although privacy advocates and civil liberties groups rallied against CISPA, it won broad backing from a range of companies — such as Facebook, AT&T and IBM.

McCaul sees his bill complementing CISPA because it would center on helping the Homeland Security Department (DHS) coordinate information-sharing about cyber threats. CISPA, on the other hand, would allow companies to share information about malicious source code and other data with the intelligence community, including the National Security Agency, as well as DHS.

But before the next congressional session begins in January, the White House could release the cybersecurity executive order it has worked on over the last few months. The cyber order will have a significant effect on Congress’s path forward on cybersecurity legislation next year.

from The Hill

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