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House Staffer: We Are Ready to Deal on Cyber Bill House Staffer: We Are Ready to Deal on Cyber Bill

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House Staffer: We Are Ready to Deal on Cyber Bill

Napa, California - The Senate may be locked in a duel to the death over cybersecurity legislation, but the House is standing by to make a deal, a senior committee staffer said on Wednesday.

"In the House, we are ready if and when the Senate passes anything," Jamil Jaffer,
Senior Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the Tech Policy Summit in Napa, California.

"We are ready to go to conference and find the middle ground that both houses can agree to and pass," Jaffer added. "We are hopeful that the Senate passes something. This is a growing and continued threat."

The White House and Senate Democratic leader back the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, but Republican committee leaders who say that the bill gives Homeland Security officials too much authority over certain private networks have blocked it.

The House passed a more limited cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. It encourages government and private industry to share information about attacks. But the White House threatened to veto it and the bill is not expected to be considered in the Senate any time soon.

"We are happy to get a deal that gets everyone sharing in some way, shape or form," Jaffer said.

But Wayne Crews, VP for Policy & Director of Technology Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, doesn't see it happening. "I think this is controversial enough not to go anywhere this year," he said.

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