Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cybersecurity Legislation in the Senate

Tuesday was the first day for legislation to be introduced in the Senate for the 112th Congress and 187 bills were introduced. This produces the typical backlog for the printing process, but based on the basic information available on there were only two bills that might be of interest to the chemical security community; S 21 and S 158. The later is a reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and may contain provisions on rail shipments of TIH chemicals. The former may be the cybersecurity jackpot legislation for this session.

Interestingly this bill was introduced by Sen. Reid (D, NV); that would make the bill important enough. More important though is the fact that both Sen. Rockefeller (D, WV) and Lieberman (I, CT) are co-sponsors of the bill. They had competing versions of cybersecurity legislation last session and the participation of these three important Senators (and five other senior Democrats) probably indicate that this is a compromise version of the various bills from the last session.

The title of the bill is currently an unwieldy description of its general intent: “A bill to secure the United States against cyber attack, to enhance American competitiveness and create jobs in the information technology industry, and to protect the identities and sensitive information of American citizens and businesses”. No way to tell if it addresses control system security, but I would suspect that there will be provisions that will have some affect on the chemical security community.

I’ll be watching for this to be printed.

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