Four bills are pending in the House and Senate that would double or triple the annual funding of NIST's Computer Security Division. One of these bills, the Cybersecurity Research and Development Act, passed the House with overwhelming support.
After Sept. 11, the House Science Committee held hearings on the cyberterrorist threat and the lack of a coordinated U.S. response. The hearings focused on the need for more research and targeted NIST for much of the money. Other committees have focused on tightening the security of federal IT systems, which NIST oversees for all but national security systems. Lawmakers believe NIST needs "teeth" to be able to put more pressure on federal agencies.
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