Over the past month, a number of White House officials and key House and Senate members have discussed the importance of moving cybersecurity legislation forward. Highlights include the following:
- On October 4, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said that he has “a high level of confidence that something will move forward” at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Department of Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry echoed those comments.
- On October 7, at a University of Washington School of Law Cybercrime Conference, federal officials including FBI Assistant Director Gordon Snow highlighted the severity of online threats against financial and defense targets.
- On October 18, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said he remains optimistic about the possibility of getting cybersecurity legislation to the floor this year.
- On October 19, an interagency team of senior administration officials, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and the chairmen and ranking members of the relevant committees met on Capitol Hill. The parties indicated that it was “an extremely useful and constructive discussion, ending with agreement that all involved need to work together to pass a cybersecurity bill as quickly as possible.”
- Last week, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairman of the bipartisan House Cybersecurity Caucus, called for Congress to move forward with cybersecurity legislation at a Brookings Institution event.
This remains a legislative area to watch as Congress wraps up 2011 and looks at the legislative agenda for 2012.