Cyber bill tracker

The pressing need for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation has led to widely divergent paths in the House and Senate. Lawmakers in the House have introduced a slew of bills, mostly favoring a more incremental approach.

However, the Senate took a different tack. Because the issue extends across a number of committees of jurisdiction, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) directed the various Senate committees to work together on a single bill, the culmination of which is the bipartisan Cybersecurity Act of 2012.

Cyber legislation is only one of a number of key bills Congress must pass this year. But with election season fast approaching, some observers are setting low expectations.

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Below, read highlights of recent cyber legislation and track their progress.


Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

Introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.)

  • Allows the government to share cyber threat information with private companies and encourages private companies to share cyber threat data
  • Allows the government to use shared cyber threat information to protect against cyber attack and to investigate cyber crime.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) <i>(Photo:</i>

Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act of 2011 (The PrECISE Act)

Introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.)
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif). <i>(Photo: <a href="" target="_blank">Gage Skidmore</a></i>)

  • Originally tasked the Homeland Security Department with developing mandatory security standards that private companies operating critical infrastructure, such as power companies, had to meet.
  • To garner more Republican support, that provision was scaled back in favor of a voluntary system.

  • The pared-down version was approved by the House Homeland Security Committee in April. It awaits a full vote by the House.

Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act of 2012 (SECURE IT)

Introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

  • Does not give DHS new authority to enforce cyber safeguards, relies on voluntary approach by industry to share information
  • Cyber threat information would be shared through existing federal cybersecurity centers run by the National Security Agency
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) <i>(Photo: AP)</i>

  • Has been referred to the Senate committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
  • Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced a House version of the bill

Cybersecurity Act of 2012

Introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman are among the bill’s sponsors.

  • Expands the role of DHS in securing critical infrastructure by setting mandatory security standards
  • Allows private entities to share cyber threat information with the government through cyber exchanges

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will hold floor debate in the Senate on the bill in early July
  • Has been endorsed by the White House

Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2012

Introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)

  • Calls for federal agencies to create a strategic plan for cyber research and development
  • Authorizes new appropriations to the National Science Foundation to issue grants
  • Requires President to submit a report to Congress describing cyber workforce needs of the federal government
Photo: House Homeland Security Committee <a href="" target="_blank"> Flickr</a>.

Federal Information Security Amendment Act of 2012

Introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)
Photo: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

  • Updates the 2002 law creating the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Reasserts the role of OMB — as opposed to DHS — in developing and overseeing agency cyber guidance