House subcommittee passes cybersecurity R&D bill

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The U.S. House Research and Science Education Subcommittee this week unanimously approved legislation to strengthen the Cybersecurity Research and Development Act.

The proposed Cybersecurity Research and Development Amendments Act of 2009 would require federal agencies to submit a long-term research-and-development plan, detailing objectives of the initiative and the funding needed to carry it out.

“The plan must be based on an assessment of cybersecurity risk, to make sure that taxpayer dollars fund the R&D needed to meet the strategic needs of our country and to keep internet users safe from cybercrime,” subcommittee Chairman Daniel Lipinsk, D-Ill., said in a news release on Wednesday.

The amendments, which were unanimously adopted, were offered up by Lipinski and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas.

The bill would also authorize $68.7 million in grant funding in fiscal year 2010 for computer and network security research. That figure would increase each year to $90 million by fiscal year 2014. In addition, the bill would require the National Science Foundation to establish a program to provide scholarships for students pursuing cybersecurity degrees.

The bill came out of previous hearings held this year on the state of cybersecurity, which determined that more research, partnerships and training are needed.

The proposed legislation now will move to the full House Committee on Science and Technology.

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