Senate panel to consider cybersecurity overhaul

A Senate panel is set to consider on Tuesday sweeping legislation that would expand federal cybersecurity authority over private-sector networks designated as critical infrastructure.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hear from senior members of the security community in the public and private sector as it considers a bill introduced by the committee’s leaders that aims to elevate the profile of federal cybersecurity and establish a framework for government and industry partnerships.

That bill, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, was introduced last Thursday by committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine), along with Tom Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee.

“The [bill] is designed to bring together the disjointed efforts of multiple federal agencies and departments to prevent cybertheft, intrusions and attacks across the federal government and the private sector. The bill would establish a clear organizational structure to lead federal efforts in safeguarding cyber networks. And it would build a public/private partnership to increase the preparedness and resiliency of those private critical infrastructure cyber networks upon which our way of life depends,” Lieberman said in a statement. “The need for this legislation is obvious and urgent.”

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