Bipartisan legislation to ease the sharing of cyber threat information among industries and the federal government has easily cleared the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

President Obama on Jan. 13 proposed legislation to authorize any private entity to share lawfully obtained cyber threat indicators with private information sharing and analysis organizations, as well as the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in the Department of Homeland Security.

(See Also: How the White House Wants to Share Cyber Threat Info)

Senate committee leaders Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) then sponsored the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015. The legislation, as sent to the floor, directs the government to increase sharing of classified and unclassified cyber threat information with the private sector. The bill further:

* Authorizes private entities to monitor their networks or those of consenting customers for cyber threats and share indicators with each other or the government;

* Establishes a web portal at the Department of Homeland Security to accept cyber threat indicators;

* Narrowly defines “cyber threat indicator” to limit the amount of information that may be shared;

* Requires removal of personal identifiers before sharing information;

* Provides liability protection for appropriate use of cybersecurity activities; and

* Mandates a series of reports by various agencies to ensure threat information is being properly handled and shared.

 Based on a fact sheet released by the committee, the bill sent to the Senate floor appears quite similar to President Obama’s proposal. Text of the legislation should be publicly available during the week of March 16 at congress.gov.

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