Legislative Activity

Congress Avoids DHS Shut-Down

With only hours to spare before the midnight Friday deadline, the House and Senate passed a stop-gap measure extending funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by one week, delaying a long-term solution to the current partisan impasse but avoiding a temporary shut-down of the agency.

In remarks on February 20, Andy Ozment, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, explained that a shut-down would furlough roughly half of the agency’s cybersecurity personnel. While the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) would remain open and staffed, some contracts for NCCIC staff could be disrupted.

Senate Intelligence Prepares Cybersecurity Information-Sharing Bill

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are currently circulating draft information-sharing legislation. Industry sources are reportedly pleased with the draft language on liability protection and the scope of information-sharing relationships. The bill could be formally introduced and marked-up as soon as this week, though reports indicate it was recently held to secure White House support.

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (D-CA) announced that he will mark a bill in mid-March, adding that jurisdictional issues with the House Homeland Security Committee are “still up in the air.” House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) held a hearing on the President’s information-sharing proposal this past week, and has plans to move forward with his own bill as well.

This Week’s Hearings

  • Tuesday, March 3: The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will host a hearing titled “Understanding the Cyber Threat and Implications for the 21st Century Economy.”
  • Wednesday, March 4: The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will host a hearing titled “Industry Perspectives on the President’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Proposal.”
  • Wednesday, March 4: The House Armed Services Committee will host a hearing titled “Cyber Operations: Improving the Military Cyber Security Posture in an Uncertain Threat Environment.”
  • Thursday, March 5: The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will host a hearing titled “The Growing Cyber Threat and its Impact on American Business.”

Executive Branch Activity

President Authorizes Creation of New Government Agency

On Wednesday, President Obama authorized creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), a new government agency housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The CTIIC was first announced in early February and will combine cybersecurity data from across the intelligence community to produce coordinated cyber threat assessments and a more holistic approach to analyzing cyber threats.