Leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee praised Reid's plan to schedule floor time for a cybersecurity debate. "Every day Congress fails to strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation's critical infrastructure is another day of unacceptable risk for our country," Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), the chairman of the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, said in a statement. "Hackers, criminals, and antagonistic foreign powers are maliciously probing our cyber defenses every day on an unprecedented scale, and it is no secret they have found our defenses to be vulnerable."
Any Senate measure of course would have to be squared with legislation in the House, where various measures to tackle the information-sharing aspect of the issue have emerged. Many lawmakers favor codifying a framework for sharing information about cyber threats, though proposals differ in where coordinating authority should be housed -- the public or private sector, and, if in government, under the aegis of a civilian or military agency. Consumer advocacy groups have also raised privacy concerns about legislation that would create a broad, open-ended system for sharing information.
Kenneth Corbin is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who covers government and regulatory issues for CIO.com.
Read more about government in CIO's Government Drilldown.