Monday, July 27, 2015

Hearings – Week of 07-27-15

With the Summer Recess fast approaching the House and Senate are scrambling to get their agenda’s cleared. There will be a number of interesting hearings going on this week, but only three of specific interest to readers of this blog. All three will deal with various aspects of cybersecurity.

Best Practices

The Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday to look at “Promoting and Incentivizing Cybersecurity Best Practices”. The witness list includes:

∙ Raymond B. Biagini, Covington and Burling
∙ Brian Finch, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, George Washington University
∙ Andrea M. Matwyshyn, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University

This sounds like it will be a very high-level discussion of the topic with little in the way of specific discussion of best practices and control system security is likely to be completely ignored.

Cyber Threats

It looks like the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will be holding a hearing on “World Wide Cyber Threats” on Thursday. I say looks like because the hearing is listed on the House Committee Calendar pages but not on the Intelligence Committee web site. In any case if this is in fact an open hearing, nothing of earth shattering importance will be mentioned because all of that information is classified. No witness list is available.

Mark-Up Hearing

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a business meeting on Wednesday that will include the markup of 15 bills (which means minimal actual discussion) including two bills that have not yet been introduced (so I have no idea what they actually say) that apparently deal with cybersecurity issues. They are:

∙ Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2015
∙ EINSTEIN Act of 2015

The first bill is likely to be an EMP – Geomagnetic Storm bill, but could really cover just about anything. The second is almost certainly a bill to authorize DHS to implement EINSTEIN 3 across the federal computer system landscape with a possibility of making it available to private critical infrastructure facilities.

On the Floor

There are a number of TSA bills (airport security side) that will be considered in the House this week under suspension of the rules. The only other thing of interest is the possibility of HR 1735 coming out of Conference. It will be interesting to see what cybersecurity provisions remain in that mashup. We will also have to wait and see if the President will hold his nose and actually sign the bill once it passes.

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