Homeland Security Committee Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Attack

Feb 5, 2014 Issues: Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Homeland Security Committee unanimously passed H.R. 3696, the “National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (NCCIP) Act of 2013.”

H.R. 3696 was introduced in December by Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS), as well as Subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Yvette Clarke (D-NY). The NCCIP Act addresses the cyber threat by giving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the tools to secure our nation in cyberspace, while protecting privacy and civil liberties and prohibiting any new regulations at DHS.

Chairman McCaul: “Cyber attacks on our oil and gas facilities, electric grids, water systems, banks and transportation systems threaten our national security and economy every day. We cannot wait for a major attack to take action, and I am pleased that the Committee today unanimously passed legislation that improves DHS’s ability to defend against the many threats to our critical infrastructure. H.R. 3696 is bipartisan legislation, endorsed by industry and privacy advocates that establishes equal cybersecurity partnerships between private industry and DHS, while ensuring Americans’ civil liberties are protected. In fact, the ACLU has called it ‘both pro-security and pro-privacy.’ Cyber attacks are on the rise, and the House should pass this bill as soon as possible.”

Subcommittee Chairman Meehan: “Target, Niemen Marcus, and now White Lodging, which manages hotel franchises for chains like Hilton and Marriot – it seems that almost every day we hear news of more American consumers victimized by cyber attack. It’s only a matter of time before our power grids or financial networks are the latest victims of hackers. The federal government’s response to the cyber threat has so far been haphazard. The bipartisan legislation passed by the Committee today will codify the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to protect our networks against cyber attack, and it strengthens privacy protections for American families. I thank Chairman McCaul, as well as Ranking Members Thompson and Clarke, for their hard work and leadership in moving this bill through the Committee and I’m hopeful we’ll see a vote on the floor of the House soon.”

H.R. 3696 is endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), AT&T, Boeing, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), members of the energy and utilities sector, the GridWise Alliance, the financial services sector, the National Defense Industrial Association, Oracle, Entergy, Pepco, and the Professional Services Council.

A one-pager explaining the bill can be found HERE.

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