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US House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Ahead of Summer Recess

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By technology editor Ian Bush

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — Congress is now on summer break, more rallying votes and raising money than traditional R & R.

But before the House headed home, they actually agreed to do something — about threats to cybersecurity.

It’s a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), whose district covers most of Delaware County along with portions of Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Lancaster counties.

“It goes to creating the structure that enables us to most effectively protect American citizens and American assets from cyberattacks,” Meehan told KYW Newsradio t0day.

Meehan says the measure starts with national security — safeguarding the power grid and financial markets, for example — and then focuses on fighting what’s become an everyday worry: data breaches and the theft of personal and payment information.

Meehan says cybercrime deserves special attention from law enforcement: “It pays more than any other kind of crime, and can be affectuated from anywhere in the world.”

The legislation, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, would allow the government and the private sector to share critical information about threats in real time.  It got a unanimous thumbs-up from both sides of the aisle in the House.

“Nobody wants to be there after an event and say, ‘We should have done,’ ” says Meehan, who adds that he’s optimistic the differences with a similar Senate bill can be worked out before the end of the term.

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