Senator Feinstein Pushes for Final Passage of Cyber-Security Bill
NEWS ANALYSIS: The long-awaited Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is currently waiting to be reviewed by a committee that has yet to be named.WASHINGTON—Saying that losses due to cyber-attacks could cost the U.S. economy more than $400 billion this year, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) argued passionately for final approval of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which was passed by the Senate at the end of October. Quoting studies from the McAfee on the costs of cyber-crime, Feinstein listed a series of cyber-attacks, including one in 2012 on Saudi Arabia's Aramco Oil Company that wiped out three-quarters of its computers. "It’s only a matter of time before they progress to our critical infrastructure," she said. Senator Feinstein was speaking to a small group of executives at the offices of Arent Fox, a law firm with offices here. Feinstein highlighted what she regards as one of the strengths of the bill as passed by the Senate. "We crafted a bill that got 74 votes on the senate floor," she said. Despite the fact that the bill has already passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it has yet to reach President Barack Obama's desk for a signature, which means it's not even close to becoming law. The next step in that process is to send it to a joint conference committee to resolve differences between the versions of the act passed by the House and Senate.
This task was made more complicated because the House actually passed two versions of the CISA Bill, so both of the House versions have to be reconciled with the Senate version.