Cybersecurity Choices Facing Lawmakers

American lawmakers, including the President of the United States, Barack Obama, are pushing for passage of cybersecurity legislation to help bolster our nation’s infrastructure, as well as provide increased protection for private companies using the World Wide Web.

With 30 bills up for review, they fall into one of two categories, according to The first, data-breach tracking, provides information on what kind of information is being stolen and the methods used so that defenses can be strengthened in those areas to thwart such attacks. Infrastructure hardening is the other category of cybersecurity being put forward. With infrastructure hardening, businesses critical to our national infrastructure, such as power plants and water supplies, are required to increase their cybersecurity to match standards to be set by the U.S government.

The main consensus is that only 3 of the 30 possible bills are even seriously being considered to be put up for debate presently. They are as follows:


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act has already passed the House and is just awaiting Senate approval. CISPA takes a data-breach-tracking approach to cybersecurity. It is currently opposed by both Democrats and the President with promises of a swift veto if it passes.


Introduced by a group led by Senator Joe Lieberman, the Cybersecurity Act takes an infrastructure-hardening approach. While it is generally considered the most middle road of the three, protecting the privacy rights of U.S. citizens while also not being too tough on businesses, the bill has recently been modified and is considered too ineffective to be worth passing into law.


Presented by Republican lawmakers, the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act would encourage voluntary cooperation between the U.S. government and businesses, though there are still opponents to the bill who state privacy concerns.

Of main concern, with at least two of the bills, CISPA and SECURE IT, are privacy issues, as both bills would give law enforcement unprecedented access to the surfing habits of private citizens. Also of concern is who will foot the bill for specific areas of the bill. If an infrastructure-hardening approach is taken, then businesses will have to invest in tougher security measures, a cost that is likely to be passed onto customers.

For more information about current cybersecurity legislation, visit: