Monday, September 12, 2016

Congressional Hearings – Week of 9-11-16

This week with both the House and Senate in town there will be two cybersecurity related hearings that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog. Those two hearings address information sharing and encryption.

Cybersecurity Markup

On Tuesday the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a markup hearing that will cover a number of bills. Of specific interest will be HR 5459, Cyber Preparedness Act of 2016. Substitute language for that bill will be considered. That substitute does include the ‘missing’ definition of ‘cybersecurity risk’ taking it from 6 USC 148(a)(1). Unfortunately, that definition still uses the limited definition of ‘information system’ from 44 USC 3502(8). Thus there is still not authority provided for sharing information about control system security issues.


The Senate Armed Services Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday looking at Encryption and Cyber Matters. There may be a closed session at the end of the public portion of the hearing. The witness list includes:

• Marcell J. Lettre II, Under Secretary Of Defense For Intelligence; and
• Michael S. Rogers, United States Cyber Command

On the Floor

There is one cyber related bill that will be taken up in the House today under their suspension of the rules process. House Resolution 847 addresses the perceived need for a national strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment. This resolution was introduced last week, but I have not posted a review because it does not include a single mention of cybersecurity concerns. Since today’s consideration will not include an amendment process the resolution will be published without this critical area being considered. Fortunately, nothing more will come from this action, this only being a symbolic resolution.

There are news reports (for example) that we could see a continuing resolution coming out of the Senate this week. There will be lots of political gaming going on in the lead up to the Senate vote and the subsequent House vote (if it passes in the Senate).

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