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Thompson, Harman, Clarke Introduce Cyber Legislation

November 17, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, introduced The “Homeland Security Cyber and Physical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2010”. The legislation, also sponsored by Reps. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), will enhance the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity capacity by:

•Authorizing the DHS Office of Cybersecurity & Communications.
•Creating a new Cybersecurity Compliance Division to oversee the establishment of performance-based standards responsive to the particular risks to the .gov domain and critical infrastructure networks.
•Requiring DHS to work with network operators, to develop tailored security plans that meet risk-based, performance-based standards, similar to the current chemical security law.
•Requiring DHS to share threat intelligence and protect proprietary information.

Chairman Thompson released the following statement with the legislation:

“From a security and good-government standpoint, the way to deliver better cybersecurity is to leverage, modify, and enhance existing structures and efforts, rather than make wholesale bureaucratic changes. This bill will make our Nation more secure and better positions DHS – the ‘focal point for the security of cyberspace’ – to fulfill its critical homeland security mission.”

Congresswoman Harman, Chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, released the following:

“Cyber attacks, whether originated by other countries or sub-national groups, are a grave and growing threat to our government and the private sector. This bill provides new tools to DHS to confront them effectively and make certain that civil liberties are protected.”

Congresswoman Clarke, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, added the following statement:

“I am proud to join Chairman Bennie Thompson and Congresswoman Jane Harman in introducing this legislation. This bill will provide the DHS with the authority and resources needed to adequately protect our Nation’s cyberspace and infrastructure. I believe the security of our cyber infrastructure is connected to our national security. This bill will protect our country from a growing risk of ‘hacks’ and better allow the Department to fulfill its duties of protecting our nation.”

* Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7, as issued by then-President George W. Bush in 2003, designated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the lead Federal agency for cybersecurity. However, since then, DHS has had inadequate authority to fulfill its cybersecurity mission.


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Media Contacts:
(Thompson) Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
(Harman) Pam Hess at (202) 225-8220
(Clarke) Judith Kargbo (202) 225-6231