cybersecurity

Intelligence lawmakers to amend cybersecurity bill behind closed doors

by Brendan Sasso, The Hill  |  published on April 5, 2013

Members of the media and the public will not be able to watch the House Intelligence Committee’s markup next week of a controversial cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

Lawmakers will be allowed to discuss what happened in the meeting afterward, and the committee plans to release information about what amendments were offered and how lawmakers voted. But the public will not be allowed in the room, and the meeting will not be streamed online.

Susan Phalen, a spokeswoman for the committee, explained that the Intelligence Committee often restricts access to hearings and that it is possible that lawmakers will need to discuss classified information.

“Sometimes they’ll need to bounce into classified information and go closed for a period of time to talk,” she said. “In order to keep the flow of the mark-up continuing forward, you can’t stop in the middle of an open hearing, move everyone to another location for a portion of it, and then move back.”

She noted that the committee used the same procedure when it marked up CISPA last year.

The committee has yet to formally schedule the markup, but it is expected to happen next Wednesday.

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