Senate plans joint hearing on Obama's cybersecurity order

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Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them Overnight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules when appointing industry leaders to science boards MORE (D-Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said that passing cybersecurity legislation is one of his top priorities. 


"Nearly every day, we learn of more cyberattacks that underscore just how vulnerable we really are to malicious hackers seeking to steal from us or do us harm. Attacks of any size can hurt our individual pocketbooks, our nation’s economy and global competitiveness, and undermine the free exchange of thoughts and ideas," Carper said. 

"While the President’s Executive Order on cybersecurity was an important step, bipartisan legislation is still critically necessary to address this serious security threat," he added.

Earlier this month, Obama signed an executive order that will create a voluntary set of cybersecurity best-practices for companies that operate critical infrastructure, like banks or power plants.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a Commerce Department agency, will craft the standards with input from the private sector.

The executive order also requires federal agencies to share more information with the public about cyber threats.

Rockefeller, Carper and other leading Senate Democrats pushed legislation last year that would have encouraged critical infrastructure companies to meet government security standards and would have allowed companies to share more information about cyber threats with each other and the government.

Senate Republicans blocked the legislation, arguing it would have burdened businesses and done little to prevent attacks.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is pushing his Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which focuses only on information-sharing and has raised concerns among privacy advocates.