Cybersecurity R&D bill clears House

The House passed by voice vote the Senate-amended version of the Cyber Security Research and Development Act Nov. 12, clearing the bill for the president's approval.

Information technology industry officials praised the passage.

House and Senate leaders have made "an important investment in the future of cyberspace," said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group in Arlington, Va.

"This bill will make all information systems safer by providing federal funds for cybersecurity research, building a larger base of information security professionals and improving information sharing and collaboration among industry, government and academic research projects," Miller said.

The bill, H.R. 3394, would authorize $903 million over five years for systems security research under the aegis of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The bill directs NSF to establish centers for computer and network security research at universities and provide doctoral fellowships. It directs NIST to negotiate and oversee university-industry partnerships for cybersecurity research.

The House first passed the bill in February, 400-12. The Senate last month cleared a slightly revised version. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law shortly.

Sen. Sherwood L. Boehlert, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Science Committee, said yesterday at a press conference on Capitol Hill that he would work closely with homeland security director Tom Ridge, presidential security adviser Richard Clarke and congressional appropriations chiefs to assure that fiscal 2003 appropriations complement the authorization levels of H.R. 3394.

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