Bill introduced to encourage public-private information sharing

Bill introduced to encourage public-private information sharing

A bill introduced Monday by Sens. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) would give limited exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and antitrust laws for security information voluntarily shared by companies.

The Critical Infrastructure Information Security Act of 2001 would correct what Bennett called a national security blind spot that discourages companies from sharing information with the government and with other companies. The FOIA exemption would ensure that information about possible threats and risks given to federal agencies remains private. The antitrust exemption would let companies cooperate through industry information sharing and analysis organizations.

The protections are intended to promote analysis of threats to the nation’s critical infrastructure—both physical and electronic—so that timely warnings can be given and effective defenses developed. Poor cooperation between the public and private sectors has limited this kind of analysis, the General Accounting Office said today during a House hearing on cybersecurity.

“Federal agencies have serious and widespread computer security weaknesses,” Joel C. Willemssen, GAO’s managing director of IT issues, told the Government Reform subcommittee on government efficiency, financial management and intergovernmental relations.

Willemssen said a 1997 presidential directive calling for public-private cooperation in protecting critical infrastructure has had limited success. Eight agencies have established liaisons with corresponding industrial sectors and six information sharing and analysis centers have been established. But concerns about antitrust restrictions and public disclosure of proprietary information have hampered data sharing, Willemssen said.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.