Cybersecurity Legislation Passes

Rockefeller Says Signals Protecting Info is Top Priority

The House and Senate have passed cybersecurity legislation that is meant to produce consistent guidelines on protecting information online under a partnership between government and the private sector.

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 passed both House and Senate. The bill, formerly the Cybersecurity Act of 2013, was introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- W.Va.) more than a year ago (it is co-sponsored by ranking member Sen. John Thune [R-S.D.]).

The bill, which was supported by a number of industry groups including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, CTIA, and US Telecom, 1) creates an industry-driven process for creating voluntary cybersecurity critical infrastructure standards, under the watchful eye of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that will be "non-regulatory, non-prescriptive and technology neutral"; 2) coordinates and "strengthens cybersecurity R&D; 3) boost cybersecurity education and awareness; and 4) "advances" technical standards.

“For years, I have said that cyber attacks pose one of the gravest threats to our national and economic security. Now, with the passage of the Commerce Committee’s cybersecurity legislation, protecting our information networks is a top priority for the federal government,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “NIST and our research agencies will have a leading role in this effort, and the authority to work closely with the private sector to identify and reduce cyber risks. I’m grateful for Ranking Member Thune’s hard work on this legislation and his dedication to making cybersecurity a top priority.”