Rogers Reintroduces Cybersecurity Bill

NCTA, CTIA Praises Legislation for Removing Legal Barriers to Info Sharing

As promised, Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and ranking member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), reintroduced their cybersecurity information sharing bill, which passed in the House last session.

H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act, is identical to their Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523) which passed the House  248-168 last April before running into a Senate controlled by Democrats favoring a bill with cybersecurity guidelines Republicans feared would morph into mandates.

H.R. 624 paves the way for more info sharing of classified government info, sharing of threat info among ISPs and other industry players or with the government on a voluntary basis, and provides liability protection for that sharing.

The bill, then and now, has widespread industry support. "By removing the current legal barriers to information sharing and establishing the appropriate safeguards for the use of such information," said National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell in a letter to Rogers and Ruppersberger. "The nation's critical infrastructure owners and operators and others within the Internet ecosystem can better protect our national security and economy."

"Recent attacks on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Federal Reserve highlight the pressing need to enhance America's ability to address cyber-threats," said CTIA: The Wireless Association CEO Steve Largent. "Our members are committed to helping, but they need the government to be a willing partner to share intelligence and develop solutions to protect our consumers and our networks."

"CTIA welcomes the introduction of the Rogers-Ruppersberger bill because Congress can help facilitate this collaboration by enacting a sensible framework to enable information sharing and provide appropriate liability protections. This bipartisan bill does that and CTIA urges the Congress to act quickly to make it law."

"Cybersecurity is a critically important issue for American consumers, businesses and the overall U.S. economy," said AT&T executive vice president Tim McKone in a statement. "AT&T supports the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, bipartisan legislation which provides legal certainty for the sharing of information on cyber threats as a part of an effective cyber-defense strategy."

Verizon echoed those sentiments. "Verizon supports legislation that boosts ongoing cybersecurity efforts and promotes the sharing of cyberthreat information among communications companies and federal agencies, provides appropriate liability protections and consumer privacy safeguards, and achieves greater cybersecurity without technology mandates or prescriptive rules," said senior vice president Peter Davidson. "It's important that communications infrastructure providers retain the flexibility to implement all measures available to them to secure their networks and protect their customers.