Revised cybersecurity bill introduced in Senate

A revised version of a cybersecurity bill was introduced again in the U.S. Senate today, notably without a controversial provision that would have given the President authority to disconnect networks from the Internet during a national emergency.

The bill, called the Cybersecurity Act, is sponsored by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). It seeks to improve national cybersecurity preparedness by fostering a closer collaboration between the government and the private sector companies, which own a vast portion of the country's critical infrastructure.

The bill contains several provisions designed to encourage the growth of a trained and certified cybersecurity workforce, promote public awareness of cybersecurity issues and to foster and fund research leading to the development of new technologies.

It would require agency heads to provide information on their cybersecurity workforce plans including recruitment, hiring and training details.

The bill would empower the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop measurable and auditable security standards for government entities, as well as companies in critical infrastructure industries.

New provisions in the revised bill include one that would require the President to work with owners of critical infrastructure to identify and designate IT systems "whose disruption or incapacitation would threaten strategic national interests," according to a