Security bill gets initial OK

Security bill gets initial OK

The House Science Committee late last month approved the Computer Security Enhancement Act of 1999, HR 2413, by voice vote.

The act would modify the Computer Security Act of 1987, which requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology to provide federal agencies with guidance in protecting unclassified data.

NIST would be mandated to promote commercial encryption products to protect agencies' information systems from attacks and tampering. The act would also give the independent Computer Security and Privacy Advisory Board the ability to develop standards with NIST and create a National Panel for Digital Signatures.

The act would also require the development of a NIST computer security fellowship program, with $250,000 allocated in fiscal 2000 and $500,000 in fiscal 2001 for graduate and undergraduate students.

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