Thursday, August 2, 2012

McCaskill Moves to Shape Cybersecurity Bill With Key Amendments

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today introduced key amendments to cybersecurity legislation being debated in the Senate, a measure about which McCaskill has expressed reservations. McCaskill has long supported Congressional action to address the nation’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

“The increased threat we face from cyber-attacks is real and it’s something we’ve got to address—but we can’t rush this through and hope it fixes the problem, which is why I’m working to make this bill better,” said McCaskill, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. “My amendments would help make sure that we are tackling these challenges in a commonsense and responsible manner.”

McCaskill is proposing multiple amendments to the cybersecurity bill currently being debated in the Senate, including amendments designed to:

·         Require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to coordinate with other federal agencies to avoid duplicative research efforts
·         Protect taxpayer dollars and increase accountability to ensure that the DHS does not rely exclusively on contractors to carry out cybersecurity directives
·         Ensure the DHS will continue to abide by competitive contracting requirements for cybersecurity products and services
In addition to the amendments filed by McCaskill, she also joined efforts of two of her Republican colleagues to improve the bill. McCaskill is a cosponsor of an amendment offered by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that will ensure small businesses will play a role in developing and evaluating cybersecurity standards.

McCaskill also teamed up with Senator Macro Rubio (R-Fla.) to attach their legislation to prevent the United Nations from regulating the internet, as an amendment to the cybersecurity bill. This legislation would prevent foreign regulation of the internet.

In a statement expressing her concerns about the bill last week, McCaskill said, “I look forward to evaluating the amendments brought forward to this legislation, and I am hopeful that the amendments will improve the bill enough so that I can support it.”

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