Bill’s remaining cyber-emergency provisions no surprise


As Congress looks ahead to a busy fall session, cybersecurity legislation is expected to resurface as one of the top priorities of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The committee’s chairman, West Virginia Democrat John Rockefeller, had [introduced with Maine Republican Olympia Snowe a sweeping bill that would revamp the federal approach to cybersecurity policy](/government/article.php/3813391/Senators+Introduce+Cybersecurity+Overhaul+Bill.htm), providing incentives for education and training, streamlining the bureaucracy and establishing a framework for government coordination with the private sector.

But the bill would also install a cyber high command in the White House, and grant the president certain authorities in the event of a so-called cyber emergency.

That provision looked to be a sticking point. On the bill’s introduction, advocacy groups were up in arms over the idea that the government could, in worst-case-scenario theory, take control of the private Internet, bring traffic to a halt and run roughshod over Americans’ privacy in the process.

Well, after substantial revisions to the legislation, that provision might still be in the bill when it comes up for a hearing and markup in the fall.

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