The Hill: House sends bipartisan cyber crime bill to Biden

THE HILL, INES KAGUBARE

The House passed bipartisan cybersecurity legislation on Tuesday that would improve the way the federal government tracks, measures and analyzes cyber crime.

The Better Cybercrime Metrics Act, which the House approved in a bipartisan 377-48 vote, will help U.S. law enforcement agencies better identify cyber threats, prevent attacks and prosecute cyber crime. 

All 47 “no” votes came from Republicans. 

“Our nation is under constant attack from cyber criminals. And with a range of new threats emanating from adversaries around the world — including the Russian Federation, Congress has an obligation to move legislation forward that can better protect the American people, their data, their finances, and their personal information,” said. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) following the passage of the bill on the House floor.

Spanberger, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation was partially inspired by the attack on the Colonial Pipeline last year, which caused the company overseeing the pipeline to shut down its operations for nearly a week. The incident caused gas shortages in several states as fuel prices spiked.

“Our bill would require federal reporting on the effectiveness of current cyber crime mechanisms. And it would go one step further — it would also highlight disparities in reporting data between cyber crime data and other types of crime data,” Spanberger added.

The bill follows the passage of a new cyber law that requires companies in critical infrastructure to report substantial cyberattacks and ransomware payments within 24 to 72 hours to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a federal agency that oversees cybersecurity infrastructure and enforcement. 

White House and U.S. intelligence officials have also issued warnings urging critical sectors to strengthen their cyber defenses against possible Russian cyberattacks.

The legislation is headed to the president’s office to be signed into law. The Senate passed its version of the bill in December.  

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