The basis for the bill drafted by Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) is that the sharing of classified cyber threat information between the government and private sector will better protect commercial computer networks from cyber attacks.
The bipartisan bill, scheduled for a committee mark up on Thursday, has already attracted broad support from both parties in Congress.
“There is an economic cyber war going on today against U.S. companies,” Rogers said in an announcement of the bill. “We simply can’t stand by if we have the ability to help American companies protect themselves. Sharing information about cyber threats is a critical step to preventing them.”
The purpose is to promote communication and information sharing between the private sector and government in order to protect computer systems that may be crucial to the nation’s security, while protecting any economic interest.
Information sharing between the private sector and government is completely voluntary, depending on the company. If a company decides to share information, they have the power to choose which agency they share it with.
Other provisions of the bill include:
- Private sector entities can share information anonymously or restrict who they share with, which includes the government.
- The bill requires a review of sharing and use of information by the federal government to ensure civil liberties are upheld.
- An annual report is to be reviewed by Congress, which will include recommendations on how to increase privacy.
- The bill does not include any new federal spending nor does it impose additional regulations or unfunded mandates on the private sector.
Previous private/public cyber sharing coverage: