Senate cyber crime bill gaining steam in House

Clarke's support for the Senate's cyber crime legislation at least means the bill will see its day before the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology, which she chairs.

Her companion bill already has five House co-sponsors: Reps. Pete King (R-N.Y.), Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), Bennie Thompson (D-Mo.), Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), the vice chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee, which could also field early debate on the bill.

“Protecting the nation’s cyber networks against hackers and other threats is a huge security challenge,” Sanchez said in a statement. “This is a global effort, one that requires the intelligence capabilities and cooperation of the entire international community. We can take steps to strengthen our own cyber networks, but without consulting our allies, the security of the entire system is at risk.”

Still, Clarke's latest bill is one of many cybersecurity efforts pending further congressional action.

One such bill, drafted by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), would establish a Senate-appointed office to manage cybersecurity matters and require agencies to develop plans of action in the event of a nationwide network breach.

The Senate Commerce Committee cleared the legislation last week, to the satisfaction of a number of groups in the tech community. Still, it remains unclear whether those same groups similarly approve of the House and Senate's new internationally focused cyber crime effort.