Senate Intel panel to mark up cyber bill

The Senate Intelligence Committee will mark up controversial cybersecurity legislation in a closed session Thursday, the panel’s spokeswoman confirmed.
The measure — known as CISA — would enhance information-sharing on cyber threats between private companies and intelligence agencies. Its progress was stalled for several weeks while the White House and some Democrats expressed concerns about the bill’s privacy provisions. 
The panel’s top lawmakers — Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — worked together on the legislation, an updated version of last year’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. 
{mosads}Senate leadership wants to bring the bill to the floor soon, sources told The Hill. 
Enacting a threat-sharing bill is a major priority for industry groups, government officials and lawmakers. Major corporations such as Microsoft, Lockheed Martin and Morgan Stanley have thrown their weight behind CISA, calling it a way to bolster U.S. cyber defenses.  
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has written its own Department of Homeland Security-focused cyber information-sharing bill that has more Democratic and White House backing. There is no solid timeline for that measure, however.
Privacy advocates criticized a recent draft of the Intelligence Committee’s bill, saying it lays the groundwork for more data collection by the National Security Agency. The White House shares some of these concerns and has proposed putting DHS at the center of a threat-sharing forum to assuage worries. 
One lobbyist source said it remained unclear whether the Intel panel will mark up the draft of the legislation that has been circulating, or whether additional changes will be made before tomorrow’s committee meeting at 2:30 p.m. 
Sources said the House could take up the cyber bill within a month of Senate action. 
The Information Technology Industry (ITI) Council said the legislation should include privacy and targeted liability protections and ensure that threat sharing remains voluntary.  
“Sharing is a tool, not an objective. It can help improve cybersecurity as entities can more quickly stem losses and protect their systems, partners and customers,” wrote ITI Director of Global Cybersecurity Policy Danielle Kriz in a blog post.  
“While no facet of cybersecurity activities is a silver bullet, the sooner appropriate stakeholders in government and the private sector have cyber threat information, the more quickly it can be used to help the public at large, including to address cyber crime.”
— Cory Bennett contributed.
Updated at 7:00 p.m.
Tags Dianne Feinstein Intelligence Richard Burr Senate
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