November 29, 2001
The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 27, 2001 approved H.R.1259, the Computer Security Enhancement Act. The legislation would put the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in charge of assisting federal agencies in protecting their computer networks. It would require NIST to promote federal compliance with computer information security and privacy guidelines, and assist in the federal response to unauthorized access to federal computer systems. In addition, the bill authorizes appropriations to fund fellowships for students in the field of computer security. The bill has no direct implications for Internet freedom, and its prospects in the Senate are uncertain, but its passage by the House represents the start of Congressional efforts to boost computer security in the wake of September 11.