S 21, the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013was
introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV),
Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE).
Additional cosponsors are Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Mikulski
(D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chris Coons (D-DE)
"Throughout my five years of work on cyber, our military and national
security officials and our country's top business executives have made it
abundantly clear that the serious threats to our country grow every day. The
private sector and the government must work together to secure the networks
that are vital to American businesses and communities. It is a priority this
year to act on comprehensive cybersecurity legislation" stated Senator
The sponsors hope to address cybersecurity by hardening communications and
networks; establishing mechanisms for public-private information-sharing and
threat detection, assessment and response; promoting investment in research
and development and in workforce training; targeting identity theft and
protection; and enhancing partnership and cooperation.
The bill states: "With information technology now the backbone of the United
States economy, a critical element of United States national security
infrastructure and defense systems, the primary foundation of global
communications, and a key enabler of most critical infrastructure, nearly
every single United States citizen is touched by cyberspace and is
threatened by cyber attacks."
The measure also noted the ongoing and increasing malicious activity in
cyberspace, as well as previous governmental recognition of cyber threats
and the need for better public-private partnerships as key aspects of the
need of legislation.
The resolution does not delve into the more controversial measures that sunk
cyber legislation in 2012, such as disputes over whether to incentivize or
require private industry - including owners and operators of critical
infrastructure - to participate in government security efforts, as well as
over privacy concerns.
Senator Carper stated: "The Internet touches the lives of everyone in
American society on a daily basis. It's where we communicate, work, shop,
and bank. It also forms the backbone of key critical infrastructure, such
as the electric grid, our water supply and our transportation networks.
Given all that relies on a safe and secure Internet, it is vital that we do
what's necessary to protect ourselves from hackers, cyber thieves, and
terrorists. Our nation needs a modern approach to ensuring the security of
cyber space. I was disappointed that Congress could not come together to
pass bipartisan cybersecurity legislation that I co-authored in the last
Congress -- the Cybersecurity Act of 2012- because it was a significant
improvement over our current cybersecurity laws, which numerous experts have
said do not go far enough to protect us.
This "Sense of Congress" five page bill may be found at:
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