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Senate Bill Would Direct DHS to Assist State, Local Agencies in Cybersecurity Efforts

Sens. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) have introduced a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to help state and local authorities address cyber threats, Nextgov reported Thursday.

Joseph Marks writes the bill would direct the DHS’ main cyber operations unit to cooperate with non-federal government officials in efforts to identify potential cyber vulnerabilities in agency systems upon request.

The legislation also calls for DHS’ National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to offer information to state and local officials about policies for incident response and cyber-related personal privacy and civil liberties.

“State and local governments face unique cybersecurity threats that can endanger critical infrastructure, as well as residents’ sensitive personal and financial data,” said Peters.

Peters and Perdue drafted the bill in response to public concerns over state and local governments’ capacity to defend critical infrastructure and citizen data from cyber attacks.

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