House Intel chief ‘extremely optimistic’ on cyber bill's chances

The head of the House Intelligence Committee thinks the odds are good that the Senate will pass a long-delayed cybersecurity bill this year. 

After a meeting with leaders of the Senate Intelligence panel on Wednesday, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said his hopes for action soon have returned.

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“That was one of the most productive meetings I thought we had this year on this issue, and I am back to being extremely optimistic that we are going to get a cyber sharing bill this year,” Rogers said during an event at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday.

”I am very, very encouraged by this meeting yesterday.”

The House last April passed legislation to allow companies to share information about possible cyber threats with each other and the government, which advocates have said is necessary to make sure that possible hackers and online terrorists do not go unnoticed.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could have them share this really nasty stuff in a classified way?” Rogers said.

The effort in the Senate was largely stalled by 2013's revelations from Edward Snowden, but Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) this year announced that they had reached an agreement to move forward. 

The legislation has yet to be formally introduced, but Rogers has previously said that the upper chamber needs to act by August in order to get it to the president’s desk by the end of the year. 

The effort is likely to run into opposition from civil liberties advocates, who have worried that it would allow businesses to shuttle information about consumers to the National Security Agency and other arms of government.