Upcoming Congressional Hearings on Cybersecurity And Identity Theft Bills

S.149 STOP Identity Theft Act 

The Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecute Identity Theft Act (“STOP Identity Theft Act”), will be discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday (2/6/14). The bill, sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), amends the federal criminal code to make identity theft in relation to felony tax fraud an offense punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 20 years. The bill then directs the Attorney General to prosecute tax return identity theft using Department of Justice resources and through coordination with state and local authorities.

H.R. 3696 National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act

The full House Committee on Homeland Security is slated to markup the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Act (the “NCCIA”) on Wednesday. Congressman Michael McCaul, the committee’s chair, is the sponsor of the bill. The NCCIA amends both the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the Support Anti-Terrorism By Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 (the “SAFETY Act”).

The amendments to the Homeland Security Act broadly define “cyber incidents” and then require the Secretary of Homeland Security to take a number of steps to protect, mitigate, and respond to these incidents. Additionally, the bill requires the Secretary to identify critical infrastructure sectors and recognize a Sector Coordinating Council (“SCC”) and an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (“ISAC”) for each sector.  The Act also amends the Homeland Security Act to establish the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center to facilitate sharing of cyber threat information between federal, state, and local government, as well as ISACs, private entities, and critical infrastructure owners and operators.

The amendments to the SAFETY Act seek to limit the liability of technology providers in the event of a qualifying cyber incident.

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