OVERNIGHT TECH: Congress set to approve public safety network

The network is a piece of broader language that would restructure how the country uses its airwaves. By auctioning off broadcaster airwave licenses to wireless carriers, the provisions would raise a net $15 billion to help pay for extending unemployment insurance.

Republicans prep alternative cybersecurity bill: Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump's new debate challenge: Silence Senate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record MORE (R-Ariz.) and other GOP senators plan to introduce an alternative cybersecurity bill, McCain announced at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT
He expressed frustration that the Senate is prepared to fast-track the cybersecurity proposal of Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSwing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Maine) and Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerLobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner Overnight Tech: Senate panel to vote on Dem FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.). 

That proposal would give the Homeland Security Department regulatory authority over companies with computer systems crucial to the nation's economic and physical security. The bill would require that the companies take adequate precautions to safeguard their systems and would increase information-sharing about cyber threats between the private sector and the government. 

"The fundamental difference in our alternative approach is that we aim to enter into a cooperative relationship with the entire private sector through information sharing, rather than an adversarial one with prescriptive regulations," McCain said. "Our bill, which will be introduced when we return from the Presidents Day recess, will provide a common-sense path forward to improve our nation’s cybersecurity defenses."


ICYMI:

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told Homeland Security Department officials on Thursday she finds it "outrageous" that agents are building files on bloggers as part of the department's program to monitor social media sites.

Congressional negotiators struck a deal late Wednesday to extend payroll tax cuts that would authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction television airwave licenses to wireless carriers.

Follow Brendan on Twitter.