Year-End Spending Bill Includes Local Gov’t Cybersecurity Language

Year-End Spending Bill Includes Local Gov’t Cybersecurity Language
Protective DNS service

The $1.4 trillion spending package approved by President Trump contains a provision that mandates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help local agencies create online portals and email accounts with the .gov domain.

The DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act, which became law as part of the omnibus bill, is designed to encourage adoption of the trusted domain at the local level to strengthen agencies’ defense against cybercrimes such as ransomware attacks and imposter sites, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Dec. 28.

Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. first introduced the bill in October 2019.

The provision directs the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to develop an outreach strategy and make resources available to assist local governments in the .gov transition process.

The measure authorizes implementation efforts as an allowable expense under the department’s Homeland Security Grant Program. DHS will also provide allowances to support web domain transition under the Homeland Security Grant Program.

Johnson, who serves as chairman of Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC), said the passage of the bipartisan bill will also “help Americans and businesses know which government websites are legitimate and better prevent them from distributing sensitive information.”

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