Kelly Riddell
May 27, 2011

An Obama administration proposal for bolstering the nation’s defenses against a cyber attack would give the Homeland Security Department too much power over private industry, a U.S. lawmaker said today.

“The president’s plan gives the Department of Homeland Security unfettered authority to regulate private industry,” Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and chairman of a House Judiciary Committee panel on the Internet, said today at a hearing on cybersecurity. “Do the American people really want their regulatory agencies turned into quasi-fiefdoms?”

The administration’s proposal released May 12 calls for Homeland Security to work with industry to find vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure such as electrical grids and financial networks. The department would define what companies would qualify as “critical infrastructure” and therefore be subject to more oversight.

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