Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) stated that the committee is close to introducing a cybersecurity information sharing bill that will be the Senate equivalent of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act that the House passed in April. The bill would establish a mechanism within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for real-time information sharing between the federal government and the private sector and is also likely to provide liability coverage for owners and operators of critical infrastructure. Although Sen. Chambliss expects that the legislation will be introduced by the end of 2013, he is not optimistic that meaningful cybersecurity legislation will be passed this year.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) indicated that his committee continues to work on its own draft cybersecurity legislation – the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection of 2013. He noted that the committee has already produced two drafts of the bill and held over 300 meetings with industry stakeholders to get feedback on the legislation that will focus on DHS’s role in cybersecurity. His staff is now working on a third draft which will likely be released later this year.
Executive Branch Activity
Government Shutdown Impacts
With the government shutdown still in effect, the federal government missed the October 10 deadline for releasing two important documents related to cybersecurity. The preliminary draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and DHS’s updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan were not released as scheduled last week and will likely not be published until the government is reopened.