The timing of two cybersecurity bills just introduced by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) seems a bit funny. It is not so much that they were introduced on April Fools’ Day; more importantly, they were introduced before the widespread review of U.S. cybersecurity ordered by President Obama is completed by Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils.
It would seem to make more sense to wait and see what Hathaway thinks is broken before submitting bills to fix it. While I expect that the bills will be changed when Hathaway reports her findings in a few weeks, the current bills are interesting and have the potential to impact just about everyone in the network or network security business.
The first bill (S 778) would establish an Office of National Cybersecurity Advisor within the Executive Office of the President. The second (S 773), which goes by the title of “The Cybersecurity Act of 2009,” covers a grab bag of topics designed to “ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications”, among other things.