GOP-backed SECURE IT Act takes a light regulatory touch

John Moe Mar 1, 2012

We’ve been waiting for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to introduce his version of a cybersecurity bill for a while now and it’s scheduled to happen today. Get ready for the acronym, folks, because it’s a long one: The Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act is the name they had to use in order to arrive at the abbreviation SECURE IT Act. One wonders why they couldn’t just call it The Secure IT Act, because it’s really about securing information technology. McCain is joined in the legislation by fellow Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Dan Coats (Ind.) Unlike a similar bill introduced a few weeks ago by a coalition of Democrats, moderate Republicans, and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), McCain’s bill would not give the Department of Homeland Security any regulatory powers over companies with computer networks deemed critical to national security. Instead, it favors the carrot over the stick, offering businesses incentives to bring their security up to snuff.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is already planning to bring the earlier bill to a floor vote, skipping any committee markup sessions.

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