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 McCainFrustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response Coats: Trump seemed obsessed with Russia probe The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and other GOP senators plan to introduce an alternative cybersecurity bill, McCain announced at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on Thursday.

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He expressed frustration that the Senate is prepared to fast-track the cybersecurity proposal of Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood Sunday shows preview: Senate healthcare debate heats up GOP Medicaid cuts will be disastrous for millions with Alzheimer’s MORE (R-Maine) and Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers 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.

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