As I noted a few weeks ago, Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) were drafting new cybersecurity legislation. Last week the Senators introduced two bills. The first, S.778 (text of the bill not yet available), would establish an Office of National Security Advisor within the Executive Office of the President. The second, S.773 (text of the bill not yet available), entitled the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, gives the President the power to limit or shut down Internet traffic to and from any federal government or United States infrastructure network. The other provisions of the legislation are summarized in my previous post.
Whether the legislation has any chance of passing remains to be seen. However, some groups are already criticizing aspects of the legislation. The President of the Center for Democracy and Technology, for example, has stated "[t]he cybersecurity threat is real, but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy." The bills have been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
- A draft of S.778 (.pdf)
- A draft of S.773 (.pdf)
- The CDT’s post on the legislation can be found here.
- April 6, 2009 Computerworld Article: "Yet Another Government Attempt At Cybersecurity"