Companion Cybersecurity Bill Passes in House

Would Amend Homeland Security Act, Ease Info Sharing Threat

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The House on Thursday passed a second cybersecurity bill, HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015, that would make it easier to share cyber threat information.

The vote was 355 to 63, and followed passage of a companion bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (HR 1560), on April 22.

The National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act, which passed by voice vote in the House Homeland Security Committee last week, amends the Homeland Security Act to make to ease info sharing while protecting civil liberties. The bill encourages voluntary sharing of cyber threat info between companies and with the government, which is the subject of various bills as Congress attempts to address the growing cybersecurity threat. It provides for the voluntary exchange of "government-to-private" and "private-to-private" threat information, and would provide liability protection for companies who monitor their information systems and take measures to defend them from attack.

The bill was the handiwork of Homeland Security Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.).

"This bipartisan, pro-privacy, pro-security bill has been three years and hundreds of stakeholder meetings in the making," said McCaul Thursady. "I look forward to moving this landmark bill over to the Senate and getting it to the President’s desk as quickly as possible.”

The bill was backed by cable and telecom companies.