Today, U.S. Congressman Billy Long continued his fight against foreign threats as he submitted three amendments to the cybersecurity bill in the Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. Long's amendments, which passed the Subcommittee unopposed, altered the creation of the National Information Sharing Organization (NISO) which would establish a public-private organization to act as a national cybersecurity information exchange as part of H.R. 3674, "Promoting and Enhancing Cyber security and Information Sharing Effectiveness Act of 2011" or PrECISE Act.
Billy submits three amendments
Currently, little cybersecurity information is shared between public and private sectors. By establishing the NISO, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other relevant agencies would become partners in information sharing by allowing government and private organizations to exchange threat information and mitigation best practices.
"Cyber criminals work together to attack American corporations and government agencies and its time for us to work together to fight back," said Long. "Critical information between the public and private sectors must be shared if we are going to stem the tide in the rise of cyber crime."
In order to improve the public-private partnership and their mission, Long offered three amendments to the PrECISE Act. Long's first amendment would expand an existing, successful program within DHS's Science & Technology Directorate International Cooperative Programs Office and make cybersecurity part of its mission. Since cyber attacks affect the United States and its allies, the best defenses and practices against such attacks may be shared and gained from our international allies.
Long's second amendment would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to share information with all relevant parties responsible for critical infrastructure, not just owners and operators of critical infrastructure. From cybersecurity and internet companies to universities and research centers, the fight against cyber attacks doesn't end at infrastructure.
Long's third amendment would require the NISO to provide an annual report to Congress to ensure that privacy and civil liberties of our nation's citizens are being respected as information is shared.
"An annual report is the first step to proper Congressional oversight and ensures that privacy and civil liberties of our nation's citizens are being respected while at the same time we are giving owners and operators the information they need to protect themselves," said Long.
Although the amendments passed the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, they must still pass the full Committee on Homeland Security to be considered for a full vote in the House of Representatives.