Senators Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have introduced a cybersecurity bill that they maintain will "[remake] the relationship between government and the private sector on cybersecurity."
In announcing the bill, Snowe's office said the goal was to extend the same kind of protection the government accords its own networks to private companies involved in critical infrastructure, including telecommunications.
A staffer for Rockefeller, who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told a session audience at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's Cable Show '09 in Washington this week that cybersecurity was one of the Senator's priorities for the committee.
"The Rockefeller-Snowe initiative will carve a course for our country to embrace a 21st century national security policy that will protect and preserve American cyberspace," said Snowe. "Uniquely designed to establish a fully integrated public-private partnership to coordinate cyber security efforts, this legislation will ensure we have many of the tools to target, isolate and effectively combat cyber-attacks in America."
Among other things, the bill would create a cybersecurity czar, actually a National Cybersecurity Advisor in the Executive Office of the President. He would report directly to President Obama, coordinating with government and industry.
NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow told Multichannel News that he had not yet vetted the bill, but said he thought the legislators were right to be concerned about cybersecurity.