Lieberman Bill Gives Feds 'Emergency' Powers to Secure Civilian Nets

Lieberman Bill Gives Feds 'Emergency' Powers to Secure Civilian Nets
Lieberman Bill Gives Feds 'Emergency' Powers to Secure Civilian Nets 

By Noah Shachtman  
Danger Room
June 2, 2010

Joe Lieberman wants to give the federal government the power to take 
over civilian networks' security, if there's an "imminent cyber threat." 
It's part of a draft bill, co-sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Susan 
Collins, that provides the Department of Homeland Security broad 
authority to ensure that "critical infrastructure" stays up and running 
in the face of a looming hack attack.

The government's role in protecting private firms. networks is one of 
the most contentious topics in information security today. Several bills 
are circulating on Capitol Hill on how to keep power and transportation 
and financial firms running in the event of a so-called "cybersecurity 

Last week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn floated the idea of 
extending a controversial cybersurveillance program to hacker-proof the 
firms. Meanwhile, the military's new Cyber Command is readying itself to 
march to these companies' aid.

Lieberman and Collins' solution is one of the more far-reaching 
proposals. In the Senators' draft bill, "the President may issue a 
declaration of an imminent cyber threat to covered critical 
infrastructure." Once such a declaration is made, the director of a DHS 
National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications is supposed to 
"develop and coordinate emergency measures or actions necessary to 
preserve the reliable operation, and mitigate or remediate the 
consequences of the potential disruption, of covered critical 

"The owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure shall comply 
with any emergency measure or action developed by the Director," the 
bill adds.

These emergency measures are supposed to remain in place for no more 
than 30 days. But they can be extended indefinitely, a month at a time.


Best Selling Security Books and More!
Shop InfoSec News 

Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2015 CodeGods