House passes measure to boost federal agency website security

The House on Monday passed a bill to require federal agencies to ensure that their websites are secure from information security breaches.

Passed by voice vote, the bill would direct agencies that have public websites storing personally identifying information of individuals to certify that they are secure.

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Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), the bill's sponsor, said it would protect consumers' privacy.

"We as members of Congress have been sent here to protect the people's right to privacy, not take them away," Bentivolio said. "My bill will help to instill confidence in Americans that their privacy and personal information is secure."

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said it would prevent individuals' information from being compromised in the event of a security incident.

"I think we all agree that federal agency websites must be secure in order to protect taxpayers from being the victims of an information security breach," Lynch said.

The bill would also require the director of the Office of Management and Budget to submit an annual report to Congress on agencies' compliance with securing their websites.