Top members of the Senate Commerce, Intelligence, and Homeland Security committees introduced a long-awaited bill on Tuesday to address a wide range of cybersecurity issues in government and private industry.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105) would direct the Department of Homeland Security to assess and determine what industries to classify as "critical infrastructure." If selected, industries like electric grids or financial services would be required to meet a minimum level of cybersecurity.
Under the bill, all of DHS's cybersecurity efforts would be consolidated in a new National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications. The legislation would also seek to increase information sharing between the government and private businesses; provide a new program for research and development; and increase standards for federal networks.
"This bill would begin to arm us for battle in a war against the cyber mayhem that is being waged against us by our nation's enemies, organized criminal gangs, and terrorists who would use the Internet against us as surely as they turned airliners into guided missiles," one of the bill's sponsors, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said in a statement.
Other sponsors include Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
On Monday Feinstein rolled out her proposals for increasing file sharing in a bill she plans to incorporate into the larger legislation.