Civil Liberties

Cybersecurity Bill Offered Up as Amendment to NDAA

Jay Rockefeller pushing legislation


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As the Senate Armed Forces Committee works on the latest iteration of the National Defense Authorization Act, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va) sees it as a good opportunity to try again to pass cybersecurity legislation. He has submitted the Cybersecurity Act of 2013, legislation passed in the Senate Commerce Committee this summer after the failure of CISPA to gain momentum. Though the legislation failed to pass Congress this summer, the president issued an executive order to implement some of the objectives anyway, or, as the Hill reports:

The measure is far more modest than legislation that Rockefeller and other Senate Democrats backed last year. That bill would have pressured critical infrastructure companies, such as banks and power plants, to meet minimum cybersecurity regulations.

After opposition from Republicans killed last year's bill, President Obama issued an executive order instructing the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to craft voluntary cybersecurity best-practices for critical infrastructure companies.

Rockefeller's amendment would codify the executive order into law. It would also boost cybersecurity education, research and development for cyber threats. 

The text of the two amendments Rockefeller submitted (among more than 500 NDAA amendments) can be read here and here.