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Cybersecurity Bill Passes House Today

Washington, DC- The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act by a vote of 422-5. The bill, which is now awaiting consideration in the Senate, would require the Obama Administration to conduct agency assessments of cybersecurity workforce skills.

The legislation would also establish a scholarship program aimed at college students, who agree to work as cybersecurity specialists for the government. H.R. 4061 also directs the White House to create a university-industry task force, which would help guide future research in this area.

"Investing in cybersecurity is the Manhattan Project of our generation," said Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY). Arcuri said the need for "cyber warriors" was as important as the need for the traditional armed services. Supporters say education and recruitment, both stressed in this bill, are paramount for U.S. security.

Earlier this week, the Director of National Intelligence and a Department of Defense (DoD) review both revealed that cyberattacks were becoming increasingly malicious. The DOD review specifically warned that computer-based attacks might seriously harm financial, as well as commercial and physical, infrastructure.

H.R. 4061, which is largely based on the Obama Administration's Cyberspace Policy Review from May 2009, does not have a companion bill in the Senate. However, the Senate is already working on its own versions of cybersecurity legislation.

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