Eight homeland security bills make it through House

The House passed eight homeland security measures today that,
among other measures, are designed to strengthen cyber security,
promote greater sharing of unclassified information and prevent
the over-classification of information. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson
(D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security praised

"Passage of these vital measures improves the nation's
information sharing capacity, increases privacy protections at the
department and further strengthens both our cyber and port
security," said Thompson.

Following is a summary of the measures passed by the House:<>
  • H.R. 3815 - Homeland Security Open Source Information Enhancement Act of
    - Sponsored by Rep. Perlmutter (D-CO), this bill requires the
    Secretary of Homeland Security to make use of open source
    information to develop and disseminate open source homeland
    security information products.
  • H.R. 4806 - Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2008 - Sponsored by Rep. Harman (D-CA), this bill requires the
    Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a strategy to prevent the
    over-classification of information and to promote the sharing of
    unclassified information.
  • H.R. 6193 - Improving Public Access to Documents Act of 2008 - Sponsored by Rep. Harman (D-CA), this bill requires the
    Secretary of Homeland Security to promote the implementation of the
    Controlled Unclassified Information Framework applicable to
    relevant unclassified information.
  • H.R. 6098 - Personnel Reimbursement for Intelligence Cooperation
    and Enhancement of Homeland Security Act
    - Sponsored by Rep. Reichert (R-WA), this bill ensures that homeland security grants can be applied to retain and acquire intelligence analysts to work in Fusion Centers and engage in
    information sharing.
  • H.R. 5170 - Department of Homeland Security Component Privacy
    Officer Act of 2008
    - Sponsored by Rep. Carney (D-PA), this bill provides for a
    privacy official within each component of the Department of
    Homeland Security.
  • H.R. 5983 - Homeland Security Network Defense and Accountability
    Act of 2008
    - Sponsored by Rep. Langevin (D-RI), this measure seeks to
    enhance information security within DHS by establishing
    authorities, qualifications, security practices for the Chief
    Information Officer, creating testing protocols to reduce network
    vulnerabilities and requiring the examination of contractor
    security policies.
  • H.R. 5531 - Next Generation Radiation Screening Act of 2008 -
    Sponsored by Rep. King (R-NY), this measure clarifies the
    criteria for certification relating to advanced spectroscopic
    portal monitors and authorizes the "Secure Our Cities"
    nuclear detection pilot at $40 million.
  • H.R. 2490 - Sponsored by Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL), this bill authorizes a
    successful pilot program that the Coast Guard has been conducting
    for the mobile biometric identification in the maritime environment
    of individuals interdicted at sea.

  • Wyatt Kash writes for Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

    About the Author

    Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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