Senate gets two more bipartisan cyber bills

Senate gets two more bipartisan cyber bills
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandO'Rourke says he would 'absolutely' do Fox News town hall Gillibrand 'very unhappy' with 'Game of Thrones' finale Gillibrand endorses DC statehood: Democracy doesn't mean 'for some of us' MORE (D-N.Y.) discussed on Tuesday two new bipartisan bills to fight hackers.

“Our approach to cybersecurity so far has been certifiably wrong,” Gillibrand said during breif remarks on the floor. “We desperately need to modernize our cyber laws.”


Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkEx-GOP Sen. Kirk registers to lobby The global reality behind 'local' problems Dems vow swift action on gun reform next year MORE (R-Ill.) is the lead on one of the bills, the Data Breach Notification and Punishing Cyber Criminals Act. The measure would raise punishments for hacking and require companies to notify customers within 30 days of discovering a data breach.

The other bill, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Credit Act, would give companies a tax credit for sharing cyber threat data with other businesses in their industry. Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls GOP senator calls for resolution of trade dispute: 'Farmers and ranchers are hurting' Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran MORE (R-Kan.) is also backing the measure.

The bills “would help to modernize the way this country approaches cybersecurity,” Gillibrand said. “Congress needs to get with the times and realize that the Internet is no longer a new concept.”

Congress has made cybersecurity legislation a top priority in 2015, following a series of massive data breaches at companies like Anthem, Home Depot, Target and Sony.

Both chambers have been working to move a series of bill that would encourage industry to share more cyber threat data with the government.

Lawmakers built a broad, bipartisan consent for the measures. The House is expected to pass its efforts this week, and the Senate will likely vote on its companion piece, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), in the coming weeks.

But legislators have been less successful with other cyber bills.

The Gillibrand-Kirk data breach notification bill is now the third iteration of Senate legislation introduced this year that would mandate some type of consumer notification following a data breach.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonRepublicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments The muscle for digital payment Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems MORE (D-Fla.) has his own bill, which reflects a White House proposal. Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Lawmakers take EPA head to task for refusing to demand Pruitt repay travel expenses Dems request investigation of lobbyist-turned-EPA employee who met with former boss MORE (D-Del.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntHillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group Top Republican says Senate unlikely to vote on any election security bills San Francisco becomes first city to ban facial recognition technology MORE (R-Mo.) also released another version last week.

The Gillibrand-Kirk offering separates itself with language heightening fines and prison sentences for those found guilty of hacking.

Analysts and lawmakers admit there’s no clear route to passage for a data breach bill in the Senate. Some suspect backers might attach the measure to CISA when it hits the floor.

Gillibrand's other bill focuses on a specific portion of cyber threat data-sharing not addressed by CISA.

In addition to the tax credits, the bill would establish a network of industry-specific cyber info-sharing hubs. These hubs already exist in many sectors — financial, retail — but do not necessarily exchange data between sectors.

“We have the largest defense budget in the world by far but that hasn’t stopped our hospitals and banks from falling victim to a near constant barrage of attacks,” Gillibrand said. “We’re long overdue for a new national approach to cybersecurity.”

— Updated 3:30 p.m.