Bill Mulled to Create White House Cybersecurity OfficeSenators Envision Post Reporting Directly to President.
The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Olympia Snowe of Maine, would establish a permanent cybersecurity official who would report directly to the President.
According to Sen. Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who says he's working on the bill with Democrat Rockefeller and Republican Snowe, the legislation also would, among other things:
All three senators serve on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which along with other Senate panels is staking a claim over cybersecurity legislation and oversight. It's common for more than one congressional panel to tackle the same topics.
Rockefeller, who chairs the Commerce committee, suggested his committee has a role to play in developing cybersecurity policy because of a disruption to government and private computer networks could prove devastating to the economy. "Let me be very clear: I will not wait for a crisis to take action now," Rockefeller said last week at a hearing he chaired on cybersecurity. "Today's economic climate simply does not allow room for error.
"Cyber criminals are actively targeting banking and economic institutions every hour, even as we speak. Cyber attacks have the potential to impact everything every part of our security and our adversaries know it, from the international power supply networks to Wall Street trading to a small online business."