WASHINGTON The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would expand information-sharing between the public and private sectors about cybersecurity threats.
The legislation, drafted by committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, would order the director of national intelligence to share a greater amount of both classified and unclassified information on cyber threats with private companies. The committee, which held a markup of the bill in a closed-door session, approved the bill 12 to 3.
The bill one of several recent legislative attempts to improve protections against a cyber attack would also seek to encourage voluntary sharing of information by individuals and companies, both with each other and with the government. It would establish liability protections for those that share details about cyber threats. The Department of Homeland Security would manage a new "portal" for the delivery of electronic cyber threat information that would be shared among federal agencies.
"To strengthen our networks, the government and private sector need to share information about attacks they are facing and how best to defend against them," Feinstein said in a press release. "This bill provides for that sharing through a purely voluntary process and with significant measures to protect private information."
Chambliss said the public and private sectors should take a more unified approach to improving safeguards.
"American businesses are attacked daily by criminals seeking trade secrets or customer's credit card information, while the government defends our systems against cyber attacks from criminal organizations, nation-states, and terrorists seeking to harm and kill Americans," he said in the release. "In order to protect ourselves from these attacks, we must all work together."