Will the DHS receive authority over private sector networks?

A bill that would give the U.S. Department of Homeland Security the power to impose federal cybersecurity standards on private sector companies whose flawless functioning is considered critical to national security has been unveiled on Wednesday.

If voted in, the bill would allow the DHS to review current cybersecurity standards of communications providers, utilities’ companies and financial institutions and enforce those implemented in federal agencies. The bill is sponsored by Congressman Bennie Thompson and Representatives Jane Harman and Yvette Clark (all Democrats).

“From a security and good-government standpoint, the way to deliver better cybersecurity is to leverage, modify, and enhance existing structures and efforts, rather than make wholesale bureaucratic changes,” Congressman Thompson said in a statement.

According to The Hill, the bill could fail to get approval of the Senate, since it has already shown an aversion for giving even more authority to the DHS.

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