Tech provisions in security bills

The House bill setting up the new Department of Homeland Security, H.R. 5005, includes several key technology provisions. One offers antitrust, civil liability and Freedom of Information Act exemptions to companies or individuals who voluntarily provide ordinarily private information about threats, vulnerabilities and intrusions upon the nation's critical infrastructure.

The Senate version, S. 2452, also includes an FOIA exemption for businesses sharing information with government about critical infrastructure protection.

Another provision in the House bill would establish a federal clearinghouse for information relating to technologies that would further the mission of the Department of Homeland Security. The provision calls for the department to issue announcements seeking innovative technologies, and calls for the establishment of a team to assist in screening proposals.

The House passed H.R. 5005 July 26 with a 295-132 vote. The Senate will take up its version after the August recess.

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