Armed Services seeks more cyber oversight

The House Armed Services Committee recommended Tuesday that it have greater oversight of U.S. cyber capabilities, including reports on efforts to protect information technology systems from insider threats such as another Edward Snowden.

In the first of a series of portions of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee released language seeking to “fully support cyber operations and U.S. Cyber Command” but also requiring further assessments and reports.

Sections of the defense bill will be marked up on Wednesday by their respective subcommittees for later inclusion in the full bill.

The subcommittee, which oversees the Pentagon’s programs on counterterrorism, counterproliferation, defense intelligence, special operations, technology, and cyber operations, fully supports IT requests in the Defense budget. But it also requires a Government Accountability Office report on efforts to guard IT systems from threats such as Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who stole government data and leaked it to the press.

It also directs the Pentagon to review and assess intelligence activities by the U.S. Special Operations Forces and U.S. Special Operations Command, in order to maintain oversight of these activities.

It also extends “critical Counter Terrorism authorities including 'Section 1208' " for support of U.S. special operations forces to combat terrorism through 2017, and the secretary of Defense’s authority to establish rewards programs for information used in combating terrorists

In addition, it extends authorities for U.S. forces to conduct “non-conventional assisted recovery” designed to rescue isolated U.S. personnel in harm’s way around the globe.

The full text can be found here.