The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee introduced on Tuesday its version of long-awaited legislation intended to enhance information sharing between private companies and intelligence agencies about cybersecurity threats. Prompted in part by a wave of high-profile attacks on corporations by hackers, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act is intended to make it easier for companies to share data with the government to help prevent and respond to cyberattacks.
The intelligence panel is due to vote on the legislation on Thursday. If passed by the committee as expected, aides said they expect a vote in the full House in late April. Similar legislation is also making its way through the U.S. Senate and the House Homeland Security Committee has unveiled its own measure, seen as a companion to the House Intelligence bill. All three are given a good chance of passing, despite worries from some privacy advocates that they would do too little to prevent more data collection by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies.
Such surveillance has come under scrutiny since 2013 disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. But private industry is also alarmed by the frequency of attacks on corporate networks, such as high-profile assaults on Sony Pictures Entertainment and Home Depot.