Upon its return from summer recess, the US Senate will be actively working on quite a few cyber related legislative items:
CISA would provide a basic legal framework for companies to share information on cybersecurity threats with each other and with government. Under the bill, the Department of Homeland Security would stand up an automated system to share alerts, threats, and defensive measures in real time. The bill also would give the Office of the Director National Intelligence a role in clearing classified threat indicators for sharing.
The White House has urged the bill’s passage, more as a way to start the conference process than to indicate support for CISA as it stands. If passed, CISA would have to be merged with two House-passed measures that loosely track with the Senate legislation.
The National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement (NCPA) Act would make the Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at DHS the hub of information sharing, but doesn’t have the “real time” alert function contained in the language of the Senate bill. The Senate language is a potential sticking point for privacy advocates, who argue that the real-time requirement will mean rushing threat information that includes irrelevant personally identifiable information into the system.
The Protecting Cyber Networks Act handles the intelligence side of cyber. It would authorize within the ODNI the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, which was established by the administration. The CTIIC is charged with integrating and analyzing cyber threat information acquired by intelligence agencies, and sharing information with state and local governments. The bill also would give private companies the right to conduct defensive cyber operations on their networks, while restricting measures that are destructive to outside systems.