White House Presses For New Cybersecurity Laws
The White House is urging Congress to pass President Obama’s cybersecurity legislation in 2012 to give officials the authority they need to combat “growing and increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats,” according to the leading U.S. cybersecurity official.
White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt called for legislators to “modernize” outdated laws surrounding cybersecurity by supporting the broad legislative proposal President Obama sent to Congress in May, according to a White House blog post.
Push on for Comprehensive Infosec Bill
The White House wants Congress to enact comprehensive cybersecurity legislation this year, favoring an approach taken by the Democratic-led Senate than a more piecemeal path backed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
In a blog posted as a follow up to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday, in which the chief executive spoke of the need for legislative action to battle cyberthreats (see The State of the Union’s Cybersecurity), White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt wrote that the administration’s legislative proposals would move the nation toward accomplishing its cybersecurity goals.
Cybersecurity Disaster Seen in U.S. Survey Detecting Insufficient Spending
Companies including utilities, banks and phone carriers would have to spend almost nine times more on cybersecurity to prevent a digital Pearl Harbor from plunging millions into darkness, paralyzing the financial system or cutting communications, a Bloomberg Government study found.
Spies, criminals and hacker-activists are stepping up assaults on U.S. government and corporate systems, spurring efforts by Congress and President Barack Obama to shield infrastructure essential to U.S. national and economic security, such as power grids and water-treatment plants.
Rockefeller presses Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation
Rockefeller has worked with Senate Homeland Security chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) to craft a bipartisan compromise that would task the Department of Homeland Security with ensuring critical infrastructure firms take measures to safeguard their networks.
“The threat posed by cyber-attacks is greater than ever, and it’s a threat not just to companies like Sony or Google but also to the nation’s infrastructure and the government itself,” Rockefeller said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.