Saturday, June 12, 2010
Congressional Hearings Week of 06-14-10
Congress will be holding at least four hearings this coming week that may be of interest to members of the chemical security community. There will be two cyber security hearings, yet another TSA nominee gets heard, and new WMD legislation gets a quick hearing. Cyber Security It is always hard to tell in advance if a Congressional Hearing on Cyber Security will have anything to do with industrial control system (ICS) security, but even general cyber security legislative efforts will probably end up affecting the chemical security community due to the ubiquitous nature of the internet. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be meeting on June 15th at 2:30 pm (EDT) to look at cyber security issues. According to the Congressional record the purpose of the hearing is “to examine protecting cyberspace as a national asset, focusing on comprehensive legislation for the 21st century”. It will likely look the recently introduced S 3480. The actual bill has yet to be published on the GPO web site, so I don’t know how much this ‘comprehensive legislation’ will actually look at ICS security issues. I expect it to be available later this coming week. The House Homeland Security Committee will be conducting an oversight hearing on DHS cyber security efforts, specifically including efforts by the DHS Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT). Since CERT has been active in ICS issues, there is the potential that this may be addressed in the hearing to be held on June 16th at 10:00 am EDT. TSA Confirmation Hearing The Obama administration has had some difficulties getting a head of the Transportation Security Administration approved. There have been a number of reasons for this, but they trying again. The current nominee, John S. Pistole, will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on June 16th at 10:00 am EDT. While the hearing will typically focus on passenger transport security issues, TSA does regulate air freight security, rail security, and truck security. All of these areas may have an effect on the chemical security community so it will be interesting to see if these areas are addressed at all in the questioning of this nominee. WMD Security The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology Hearing will hold an initial hearing on HR 5498, the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010, that was introduced with much fanfare on Thursday. While a great deal of information has been provided about this bill on the Committee’s web site, the actual text of the bill has not yet been published on the GPO web site. The focus of this bill is on bio-security issues, but there will certainly be some effects on the chemical security community. When the text becomes available, I will have more information on those affects.