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Press Releases :: September 23, 2009

Subcommittee Approves Legislation to Strengthen the Federal Cybersecurity R&D Portfolio

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Research and Science Education Subcommittee passed the Cybersecurity Research and Development Amendments Act of 2009 by a voice vote. This legislation would require agencies to develop, update, and implement a strategic plan for cybersecurity research and development (R&D). Specifically, the plan would require federal agencies to create a roadmap detailing each agency’s role and the level of funding required to fulfill the research objectives. In addition, the bill would require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research on social and behavioral aspects of cybersecurity.

“Cyber threats are constantly evolving and cybersecurity R&D must evolve in concert through a combination of near-term fixes and long-term projects that build a more secure foundation,” stated bill author Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). “The Cybersecurity R&D Amendments Act will ensure an overall vision and an implementation plan for the federal cybersecurity R&D portfolio and will train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

This year, the Committee has held three hearings to examine the state of cybersecurity. Subcommittee Members learned about areas where progress is needed – a more coordinated and prioritized research portfolio, better partnerships between the private sector and government, and training for the IT workforce – to improve cybersecurity. This bill addresses all three of these needs. 

“The plan must be based on an assessment of cybersecurity risk, to make sure that taxpayer dollars fund the R&D needed to meet the strategic needs of our country and to keep Internet users safe from cybercrime,” added Lipinski.

The Subcommittee approved a manager’s amendment from Subcommittee Chairman Lipinski and an amendment from Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

“My amendment will make the Cyber Scholarship for Service program more inclusive of minority students,” said Johnson.  “In recent decades, we have seen the growing importance of cybersecurity.  We will only attract the strongest candidates to this field if we recruit from as large a group of young people as possible.  Programs that encourage diversity help to strengthen our workforce and keep us safe.”

For more information on the amendments or the Committee’s work on Cybersecurity, visit the Committee’s website.

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