U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, S. 3414. Sen. Hutchison voted against efforts to end debate on the bill, expressing concern with the lack of debate as well as with the substance of the bill and detailed her cybersecurity bill, SECURE IT Act. Excerpts of her floor speech follow:
"This is unacceptable because though we have worked diligently with the sponsors of the cybersecurity bill on the floor, a number of ranking members of the relevant committees that have jurisdiction over cybersecurity have an alternative bill, the SECURE IT Act, that we would like to be able to put forward as an alternative or have an amendment process that would allow our approach to have a chance to prevail anyway.
"The SECURE IT offers the balanced approach that will significantly advance cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors.
"First, to facilitate sharing of cyber threat information between the private sector and government, allow the reporting to go to the defense agencies where the response can be direct, not filtered through Homeland Security.
"Secondly, it gives liability immunity for sharing among the industries that might be affected as well as the defensive actions that are taken. This is essential. Because you need antitrust immunity if you are going to share vital information on this issue so that you're not going to get sued for collaborating with a competitor. And it is in our country's interest and I think our private sector companies want the ability to secure all of our networks because we know that this is a real threat."
"It's been a tough road. We've all tried hard. I think the sponsors of the bill are sincere in wanting to improve the systems.
"The ranking members that have cosponsored the SECURE IT who also have jurisdiction of this area also are sincere."