The Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee voted today to send a key cybersecurity bill to the Senate floor.
The bill, S 773,would require the executive branch to work with the private sector to create cybersecurity standards and mandate audits to ensure compliance with those new standards.
An earlier version of the bill would have granted the president authority to shut down the Internet in the case of a major cyber attack, but this new bill doesn’t include that authority. Instead, the government and the private sector would work together to address handling a major cybersecurity attack.
Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, co-sponsored the bill. Rockefeller, the committee’s chairman, called the legislation essential to securing the nation’s electronic infrastructure.
Our approach is very different from traditional regulation because it gives the private sector unprecedented influence – and responsibility – in determining how our country defends itself. It is better to act now than to wait to act after a cyber-emergency. We need the private sector to meet this challenge with bold and visionary leadership.”
Members approved the bill, S 773, by voice vote.