Senate to hold first cyber info-sharing hearing

The cybersecurity information-sharing debate will kick off in earnest next Wednesday, as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold Congress’s first 2015 hearing on the issue.

The White House recently released a legislative proposal that would put the Department of Homeland Security at the center of an cyber threat information exchange between the public and private sector.

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That offering has turned attention to the Homeland Security committees in both chambers of Congress to see if either will introduce the proposal.

On the House side, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has previously backed legislation that contained many of the White House’s ideas. McCaul has indicated he’d like to see something similar introduced this year.

On the Senate side, leaders on the Homeland Security Committee have also said they are willing to work with the White House on crafting a bill.

Senators’ statements and questions at next week’s hearing could help determine whether legislation is forthcoming.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has already introduced this year one cyber threat info-sharing bill, known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The measure puts the National Security Agency at the center of the information swap between the public and private sector.

Witnesses for next week's hearing have yet to be announced.