Senate panel ‘very close’ to cyber bill

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Lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are getting “very close” to a new cybersecurity bill, according to the panel's top Republican.

“As you know we have been working on a cyber bill for years now,” Sen Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the US Cyber Command and National Security Agency, Vice Adm. Michael Rogers. “We’re getting very close to an agreement within the Intelligence Committee between the chairman and myself, on a cyber bill that is much needed. One of the key provisions, and kind of the last remaining obstacle we’ve got, is the immunity provision or the liability protection provision.”

Lawmakers have for years pushed for a comprehensive bill to protect American financial markets, transportation systems and the electric grid in the event of a massive cyber attack. “I believe one of our greatest vulnerabilities is cyber attack,” said Sen Angus King (I-ME). "I think the next Pearl Harbor is going to be cyber. And the problem is we’re more vulnerable than many other places.”

[March 11]