Mar 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DOJ pushes Congress for changes in cybersecurity act

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco testifes before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. Photo: Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the Justice Department's second-ranking official, and FBI Director Christopher Wray are pushing Congress to increase the FBI's role under a major cybersecurity bill.

Driving the news: The bill passed the Senate this week and is being discussed in the House.

Why it matters: The bill is "the most significant cyber legislation in history," reports The Washington Post, which says House prospects are good for the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act.

State of play: Under the current bill, companies report cyberattacks to the Department of Homeland Security. DOJ, saying every second counts, says such reports should also go to the FBI immediately, with the same protection from FOIA that the DHS reports receive.

  • Wray, the FBI director, said in a statement that in its current form, the bill "would make the public less safe from cyber threats — slowing aid to victims, hampering identification of other companies the same attackers are targeting, and undercutting disruption operations against cyber threats."

What we're watching: Wray is scheduled to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees next week.

What they're saying: "The only way we can help victims and prevent attacks, is to know when attacks occur," Monaco, who was homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama, said in a statement.

  • "This bill as drafted leaves one of our best tools, the FBI, on the sidelines and makes us less safe at a time when we face unprecedented threats. With the right changes, this bill could be a game changer in keeping us safe."
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