Feinstein, Chambliss: We can pass a cyber bill during lame duck

The chair and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee say they've addressed privacy and liability concerns, and predict both chambers can move cyber legislation after the election.

Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claim their cyber legislation has a solid chance of passing during the lame duck session.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat and Republican made an eleventh-hour pitch for Congress to pass their cybersecurity information-sharing bill during next month's lame-duck session.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told an Oct. 28 conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that their cybersecurity bill has a good chance of passing in the lame duck because compliance with the bill would be voluntary and not mandatory. Differing opinions on the proper approach to public-private information-sharing have killed several previous cyber bills in 2012 and 2013.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said he is ready to convene a conference committee with the Senate during the lame-duck session to work out a final version. The House passed its cybersecurity bill, which the White House threatened to veto, in April 2013.

Chambliss has said the quartet of Intelligence Committee leaders (which includes Maryland Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger) have collaborated more closely than previous groups. And Chambliss and Rogers are retiring at the end of this term, lending urgency to the effort. But given the crowded legislative calendar, partisan gridlock and the fact that the Obama administration may, as Feinstein noted Oct. 28, prioritize surveillance reform over a cyber bill, there are plenty of ways that a cybersecurity information-sharing bill could still stall in the lame duck.

The Feinstein-Chambliss bill would authorize a centralized process at the Department of Homeland Security by which private firms could share threat information with the government without legal liability. That information would then be shared simultaneously with relevant federal agencies. The DHS secretary would have to confirm to Congress that that process is functional before it is implemented.

Supporters of the bill say the possibility of legal repercussions for firms that share confidential information with the government has undercut cybersecurity. That the bill addresses this liability issue is one reason the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports it.

The bill also would allow firms with written consent from a federal agency to help an agency repel malware attacks and other cyber threats via "countermeasures," which are defined as techniques and technologies that help protect an information system. Mark Seward, senior director of public sector solutions marketing at Splunk, a big-data analytics firm, has said that data collected through countermeasures would provide fodder for information-sharing across the private sector, and between the private sector and government.

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved the measure by a 12-3 vote in July, but it has yet to see the Senate floor. "I think if we can get this up on the floor, I believe we can pass it," Feinstein said.

A coalition of privacy and online groups oppose the bill, arguing that it would do less to protect civil liberties than a 2012 Senate bill that failed, in part, because of opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.

Starting in mid-November, Congress will reconvene for several weeks with a crowded docket of bills and issues to consider. "I have implored [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] that if there is one piece of legislation that needs to be completed between now and the end of the year, this is it," Chambliss said.

Chambliss and Feinstein have sparred over previous cybersecurity legislation, and pointed to their cooperation this time around as evidence the bill is both pragmatic and passable. "We [did] not want to produce something that cannot get a vote," Feinstein said.

Yet even as Chambliss stressed the urgency of passing the bill, he said establishing a public-private mechanism for sharing cyber threats is a long-term endeavor.

"It's important that we put language in this bill that allows flexibility," he said. "This is not a short-term project from our standpoint."

Given how quickly cybersecurity technology changes, he added, "we want to make sure that 10 years from now that there's flexibility in the legislative language that allows the public sector and the private sector ... to adjust to what technology comes forward in the intervening timeframe."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.