Beefing Up Cybersecurity

The House of Representative on Dec. 10 unanimously passed a measure aimed at helping state and local governments protect their systems from cyber attack. The bill directs the National Cyber Security and Communications Integration Center and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with state and local governments in securing their information systems, among other measures, according to a release from Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas). “Local governments often do not have access to the technical capabilities and training required to address highly exploitable cybersecurity vulnerabilities,” Hurd said in the release. “My bill will allow state and local governments, upon request, access to assistance, training, and tools that are required to secure our nation’s information systems and protect our constituents’ information at every level of government.” On the other side of the Capitol, the chairman and vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee introduced a bill to require tech companies to report online terrorist activity to law enforcement. “We’re in a new age where terrorist groups like ISIL are using social media to reinvent how they recruit and plot attacks,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)? said in a release. “This bill doesn’t require companies to take any additional actions to discover terrorist activity, it merely requires them to report such activity to law enforcement when they come across it.”