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Cyber Bill Looks to Empower and Punish

Cyber Bill Looks to Empower and Punish - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Larry Prior
Cyber Bill Looks to Empower and Punish - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Howard Schmidt

A new bill introduced in the House of Thursday looks to empower the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator while penalizing agencies that fail to adequately secure their networks.

The Executive Cyberspace Authorities Act of 2010, introduced by James Langevin and Michael McCaul, would create a cyberspace director position that requires confirmation from the Senate and create a national cyberspace  office.

“While the president’s establishment of a cybersecurity coordinator was an encouraging step, the position was not given the proper authorities to adequately secure our networks and coordinate [information technology] policy across government,” said Rep. Jim Langevin.

The legislation would also provide the new cyber coordinator position with budgetary authority, which is presently lacking. When submitting annual budgets, agencies will be required to demonstrate that they have complied with the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

“This legislation will help fill a critical void in our cybersecurity infrastructure,“ Langevin, who is co-chair of the House Cybersecurity Caucus, said in a statement.

The new legislation would also allow the cyber coordinator to recommend that the president withhold bonuses and awards from agencies that fail to properly secure their networks.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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