House Members Oppose Controversial Section of Cyber Bill

Seventy-five House Republicans and Democrats — including the chairmen of the committees on energy and commerce, financial services and science and technology — wrote to leaders of the congressional intelligence committees today opposing the controversial Section 407 of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed by the Senate.

Section 407 would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a cybersecurity strategy for certain private-sector businesses, which ABA has said would amount to giving DHS authority to regulate large financial firms. “This is backdoor regulation at its worst and is counterproductive to the underlying goals of the bill,” the House members said. “[T]he information sharing framework built by this legislation is voluntary and free of burdensome government mandates and regulations.”

Noting that Section 407 was included without hearings or debate, the House members urged lawmakers currently reconciling different versions of bills passed by both the House and Senate to leave it out of the final version of the legislation. ABA urged the same in a letter late last week.