President Barack Obama's administration has revealed a legislative proposal aimed at improving the security of critical computer networks that control the country's sensitive information, electricity, transportation and other systems.
White House offers cyber-security proposal
One focus of the proposal is streamlining and standardizing state-by-state data-breach notification requirements for businesses.
"These (state) laws require businesses that have suffered an intrusion to notify consumers if the intruder had access to the consumers' personal information," according to the proposal. "The administration proposal helps businesses by simplifying and standardizing the existing patchwork of 47 state laws that contain these requirements.”
The proposal also would synchronize the penalties for computer crimes with other types of crimes and set mandatory minimum penalties and sentences for intrusions into critical digital infrastructure.
The administration proposed a range of other changes, including ramped-up security for federal computer networks, government assistance to organizations when a breach occurs, and more-seamless data-sharing about threats such as viruses.
"Businesses, states, and local governments sometimes identify new types of computer viruses or other cyber-threats or incidents, but they are uncertain about whether they can share this information with the federal government," according to a White House statement on the proposal. "The administration proposal makes clear that these entities can share information about cyber-threats or incidents with (the Department of Homeland Security)."
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