House unveils ‘threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill

Obama assigns $100 million to fund cybersecurity training programsAt February’s White House Cybersecurity Summit, President Obama proposed greater cooperation between the government and the private sector to address cybersecurity issues. Now, the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has introduced new legislation to facilitate such cooperation: companies can now share cybersecurity data with the government without the fear of being sued.

The Protecting Cyber Networks Act

The Protecting Cyber Networks Act, introduced by Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, offers liability protection for companies that share information with the government. Privacy campaigners have expressed concern that the Bill will open the door for additional surveillance, even though the Bill specifically states that it doesn’t “authorize the Federal Government to conduct surveillance of any person”.

The intelligence panel will vote on the legislation Thursday. If the Bill is passed, the full House is expected to vote in April. Similar legislation has also been passed 14-1 by the Senate, so both bills would have to be reconciled before being signed into law by the President.