Computer Security Bill Passes House Overwhelmingly
The House of Representatives today passed the Cyber Security Research and Development Act by a vote of 400-12. The bill (H.R. 3394) establishes new programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST) to support research and education activities associated with increasing network and computer security. Between them, NSF and NIST are authorized to spend $880 million over five years on these activities.
The NIST provisions originated in Rep. Brian Baird's (D-WA) bill, the "Computer Enhancement and Research Act" (H.R. 3316) introduced last November. His provisions charge NIST with implementing a substantial program of university research designed to improve the security of networked information systems.
Rep. Baird said, "In today's world, security has to mean more than locking doors and installing metal detectors. Our economy relies on a vast information infrastructure that is woefully under protected. This bill puts the best and the brightest to work developing ways to make our computer networks impenetrable."
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), cosponsor of the Baird bill, said, "Defending our nation against terrorist attacks means safeguarding not only airplanes and people - but sensitive data and networks as well. The Cyber Security Research and Development Act addresses the critical shortage of world-class cyber security researchers needed to secure the digital backbone of our economy and national security apparatus while enabling the government, academia and industry to better integrate their research efforts."