Lungren, King Introduce Cybersecurity Bill to Protect U.S. Critical Infrastructure from Attack

Press Release

By:  Pete King
Date: Dec. 15, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and seven other Members joined Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, in introducing bipartisan legislation to better secure America's critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid, financial services systems, and water facilities, from cyberattack.

The Promoting and Enhancing Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act of 2011 (The PrECISE Act), H.R. 3674, authorizes the cybersecurity functions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), requiring DHS to conduct an evaluation of cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure and determine the best mitigation methods. The legislation also establishes the National Information Sharing Organization (NISO), a private-sector-controlled, not-for-profit organization to facilitate best practices, provide technical assistance, and enable the sharing of cyberthreat information across critical infrastructure and with the federal government, while also protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Chairman King said: "The risk of cyberattack by enemies of the United States is real, is ongoing, and is growing. The PrECISE Act, in line with the framework set forth by the Speaker's Cybersecurity Task Force led by Rep. Thornberry, protects our critical infrastructure without a heavy-handed and burdensome regulatory approach that could cost American jobs. I appreciate Dan Lungren's leadership on this cybersecurity issue."

Subcommittee Chairman Lungren said: "The PrECISE ACT, H.R. 3674, solidifies the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security in protecting against cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities within the federal government and our privately owned critical infrastructure. By providing a trusted information sharing structure, we will provide critical infrastructure owners and operators the timely access to actionable cybersecurity information necessary to protect their own networks and facilities. Cybersecurity is truly a team sport and this bill gives DHS needed authorities to play its part in the federal government's cybersecurity mission and enables the private sector to play its part by giving them the information and access to technical support they need to protect critical infrastructure."

The PrECISE Act:

· Clearly articulates the cybersecurity authority of DHS, as well as DHS roles and responsibilities;

· Requires DHS to identify cybersecurity risks on a sector-by-sector basis and to collect existing performance standards to determine the best and most efficient methods to mitigate identified risks;

· Establishes the NISO, a private-sector-controlled not-for-profit organization to facilitate best practices, provide technical assistance, and enable the sharing of cyberthreat information across critical infrastructure and with the federal government; and

· Provides for the continuous protection of personally identifiable information, privacy, and civil liberties;

A section-by-section summary of H.R. 3674 is available HERE.

The legislative text of H.R. 3674 is available HERE.

In addition to Lungren and King, original co-sponsors include Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), and Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY), all Members of the Committee on Homeland Security, as well as Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI).