Sunday, March 17, 2013

Congressional Hearings – Week of 3-17-13

Both the House and Senate are in town for their last week of work before their two week Easter Recess. There are no Senate hearings of specific interest, but the House will be holding three separate cybersecurity hearings this week, one each from the Appropriations Committee, the Homeland Security Committee and  the Foreign Affairs Committee.


The NPPD leadership will be appearing before the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Wednesday in a closed hearing on Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure. Both Under Secretary Beers and Deputy Under Secretary Spaulding will be appearing. I find it a little surprising that the Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity Weatherford is not testifying (yes he has tendered his resignation, but that is as of April 12th).

Of course, I continue to hear rumors that Spaulding is the NPPD official that has been trying to expand the cybersecurity coverage of the CFATS program, so that may be why she is attending this hearing.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any publicly available testimony from this hearing.

Homeland Security

The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies will be holding an open hearing on Wednesday looking at Cyber Threats from China, Russia and Iran: Protecting American Critical Infrastructure. There are no government intelligence agencies actively represented in the single panel testifying, probably to allow this to remain an open hearing. The current witness list includes:

• Mr. Ruchard Bejtlich, Mandiant
• Mr. Ilan Berman, the American Foreign Policy Council
• Mr. Frank J. Cilluffo, the Homeland Security Policy Institute
• Mr. Martin Libicki, the RAND Corporation

This certainly looks like a panel that should be able to produce some headlines on the topic.

Foreign Affairs

You know that cybersecurity has become The Thing in congress when the Foreign Affairs Committee becomes involved. On Thursday the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will hold an open hearing on Cyber Attacks: An Unprecedented Threat to U.S. National Security. As with the previous hearing, no government intelligence agencies are officially represented in the testimony being heard.

The current witness list includes:

• Mr. Greg Autry, the Coalition for a Prosperous America
• Mr. Richard Bejtlich, the Mandiant Corporation

Floor Action

As I mentioned in my earlier post today, both the Senate and the House will be taking action on HR 933 this week. If both houses manage to pass the bill (and I think they will) then they get to start their two week recess Friday evening. If not they might have to spend an additional week in Washington trying to get the spending for the remainder of FY 2013 taken care of to avoid the dreaded government shut down.

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