House Wrangles with Cyber Security

The constantly changing nature of cyber threats makes effective cyber security extraordinarily difficult. Fortunately, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and his colleagues in the House have identified concrete steps to protect our nation from cyber threats without impinging on our constitutional rights or hijacking control of the internet.

Chairman Rogers and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D–MD) have introduced H.R. 3523 (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011). This bi-partisan bill would:

  • require the Director of National Intelligence to establish procedures to allow intelligence community elements to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities, and encourage the sharing of such intelligence;
  • amend the National Security Act of 1947 to add provisions concerning cyber threat intelligence and information sharing; and,
  • direct the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to submit an annual review to Congress the sharing and use of such information by the federal government, as well as recommendations for improvements and modifications to address privacy and civil liberties concerns.

The bill makes clear that the private-sector actors needs clear authority to detect threats and share information, not more regulation. This bill also allows the intelligence community to assist the private sector by providing classified threat intelligence to enable self-defense of their networks.

There is little doubt that we need to secure the nation’s most critical infrastructures from cyber attacks. Cyber space touches nearly every part of our daily lives, from identities, to our money, to our business innovations, and our national security secrets. The threat of a cyber attack is real, and we need to take prudent steps now to combat this serious threat to our economy and national security.

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