Monday, August 30, 2010

Cybersecurity Legislation

There was an interesting conversation this weekend on the SCADASEC discussion list maintained by Bob Radvanovsky initiated the conversation by pointing list members at an article on That article noted the possibility of Congress attaching one or more of the current cybersecurity bills wending their way through the legislative process to some other legislation that had a better chance of being considered and passed before this November’s mid-term elections.

In my contribution I pointed at my recent guest post on where I discussed the prospects of the various bills being considered on their own merits before the elections (poor). I also mentioned that there are three bills (HR 4061, S 773 and S 3480) that would be reasonable candidates for being added to a budget bill to ensure their consideration this year. I also noted that none of these really address issues related to industrial control system (ICS) cyber security.

As people in the chemical security community know, all sorts of stuff can get added to budget bills. The CFATS program authorization and the authority for the much anticipated ammonium nitrate regulations (NPRM due this fall?) were both added to Homeland Security spending bills. In this case the article mentioned the possibility of some sort of cybersecurity add-on to the DOD spending bill this year.

I think that cybersecurity legislation is a better fit in the Homeland Security budget bill because of the controversy surrounding military control of programs affecting civilian agencies and even perhaps American businesses. This controversy could end up derailing a DOD budget passing before the elections. Unfortunately, it looks like the DHS spending bill might not make it to through the system before the fall elections, mainly because the House has yet to even introduce such a bill and all spending bills must originate in the House.

As Readers who have been following this blog for a while well know, I will follow the budget process of any bills that contain significant chemical security related provisions. I would also like to remind Readers that there is a new page on this site (Legislative Status) that provides detailed links to the various bills that could be of interest to our community; including spending bills.

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