House Tees Up Another Cybersecurity Bill


The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee has scheduled its next hearing on cybersecurity for March 28, its third in what it signaled would be a series of hearings.
There is no witness list yet, but the hearing will examine the role of the government in protecting networks, particularly how it is working with the private sector and how to improve that relationship.
The subcommittee held its first hearing on the cybersecurity issue last month and signaled there would be more to come. That hearing focused on private sector efforts to protect their networks. One piece of advice for the government from James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies was that it was going to have to pay more attention to cable companies and other ISPs as the responsibility for cybersecurity shifted from the edge and consumers to service providers.
That was followed by a March 7 hearing featuring Comcast, CenturyLink and AT&T, all of which warned Congress that the best things the government can do to help the industry thwart increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks would be to boost communication, better educate the public and protect networks from liability for sharing info with each other and government.
The Federal Communications Commission has also proposed a voluntary code of conduct for dealing with cyberattacks like botnets and malware.
In the Senate, two cybersecurity bills have been introduced this session, both of which would provide for more communication and cooperation between government and industry, but the Democratic-backed bill would have the Department of Homeland Security come up with enforceable network security requirements, something the Republicans do not support.