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[] USA: Cybersecurity bill sent to president,

Cybersecurity bill sent to president

By Gretel Johnston
IDG News Service, 11/12/02

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved and sent to
President George W. Bush a bill designed to fund research and
workforce training in computer security.

Representative Sherwood Boehlert, a Republican from New York and the
chief sponsor of the legislation, said for too long cybersecurity has
not been a research priority in the U.S. While the IT industry focused
on making computers cheaper, faster and easier to use, the market did
not put a premium on security, and government turned its attention
elsewhere, Boehlert said in a release.

In an age of terrorism such willful ignorance about cybersecurity must
end, he said.

A spokesman for the House Committee on Science, which Boehlert chairs,
said the committee is unaware of opposition to the bill by President
Bush, whose signature is needed to make the bill a law.

The Cyber Security Research and Development Act (H.R. 3394), which
passed on a voice vote, calls for $903 million to fund cybersecurity
research centers, undergraduate program grants, community college
grants and fellowships created by the National Science Foundation
(NSF). Other programs and grants funded under the bill would be
created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The cybersecurity research centers would focus on computer and network
security and would be created with universities, businesses, other
government agencies or independently. NSF's other programs under the
legislation would work with colleges and universities to improve
undergraduate and master's degree programs on cybersecurity. The NSF
fellowships would go to doctoral students who pursue computer security

NIST's programs would establish university and industry partnerships
to build research centers that focus on information security issues of
particular interest to businesses, and encourage senior researchers
and post-doctoral fellows to pursue security studies.

Passage of the bill represents a tremendous leap forward for
policymakers as they seek to combat the specter of cyber terrorism,
Tom Santaniello, manager of U.S. public policy for the Computing
Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) said in a release. Through
public-private partnerships, the bill will help create an elite corps
of highly-trained cyber security experts who will lead U.S. defense
forces into the realm of cyber warfare, he said.

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