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US government renews attempts to update cyber security laws

24 Jan 2013
Capitol Hill in Washington DC

Members of the US Congress have kicked off the year with a renewed focus on cybersecurity legislation.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, Tom Carper, and Jay Rockefeller have introduced another cybersecurity bill to Congress, following the failed passage of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 last August.

"I was disappointed that Congress could not come together to pass bipartisan cyber security legislation that I co-authored in the last Congress, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, because it was a significant improvement over our current cyber security laws, which numerous experts have said do not go far enough to protect us," said senator Carper.

"Today's legislation underscores our ongoing commitment to working to address cyber security and it will help lay the groundwork for a framework that can balance the needs and concerns of both government and the private sector - and keep Americans safe. Our nation cannot afford more delay on this issue."

The Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013 will look to create a more open dialogue between the government and Silicon Valley. Congress's bill also aims to increase user privacy standards and governmental investment in tech.

This year's bill comes following the demise of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. The legislation, which garnered support from the likes of Oracle, failed to gain enough support following disagreements on which governmental agencies would be in charge of programmes created by the bill.

Congress is now hoping to pass the 2013 bill on the backs of congressional members elected last November. The group that is introducing this year's legislation believe that recently elected leaders from both parties will see the need for updated cyber legislation.

"The threat of a cyber attack is real, and it is growing. Congress must act soon to improve the government's ability to share and receive information on cyber attacks and threats with the private sector," said senator Feinstein.

"Our national and economic security depends on robust information sharing, and I look forward to working with my colleagues again this Congress to develop strong incentives for this practice, coupled with the needed privacy protections."

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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