Honda bill would create cybersecurity centers

The government would create five regional cybersecurity centers, each specific to an industry facing electronic threats, under a bill introduced Thursday by Rep. Mike Honda.

The centers established by Honda’s Excellence in Cybersecurity Act – at a cost of $125 million over the next five fiscal years – would bring together stakeholders from academia, government, and the private and non-profit sectors to analyze threats and develop best practices, the lawmaker said.

honda.jpg“From an economic, social, and national security standpoint, the cyber threat is one of the most important issues facing our country today,” Honda, D-San Jose, said in his news release. “Representing Silicon Valley in Congress, I believe we must be proactive in our approach by developing industry-specific coalitions that bring together a wide variety of stakeholders. I am proposing the creation of vertically-integrated cybersecurity centers to meet this challenge and further America’s economic prosperity and technological growth in the 21st century.”

The centers would be charged with examining existing threats in a specific field; acting as a clearinghouse for information and education; promoting community-centric solutions; and developing yearly reports to the industry and security officials.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s director would decide what industry each center would represent, and where each would be located. There would be a competitive process to win those centers, and you can bet Honda wants Silicon Valley to be at the top of the list for one of them.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • GV Haste

    That is five centers, spending $5,000,000 each for five years.

    I don’t have a good feel for this, except it seems like Honda’s attempt to show he is connected to the tech world.
    One wonders who wrote this bill. Who instigated the plan and wording. What group was looking for someone to carry this 125 million dollar package.

    I’d feel much more inclined to believe this new 125 million dollar program would accomplish anything if the industry was willing to put up 33% of the money.
    If the industry, with its hundreds of billions (Apple alone with over 100 billion in cash) aren’t willing to chip in even 33% of the funding, then it stands to reason that nothing of value is expected to come from this new organization.

    Except of course, for the re-election of Honda.

    Seems he is trying to re-invent himself as the Congressman from Tech.

    I’m very skeptical. Who is behind this $125,000,000 plan?
    What are the benchmarks of value to be gotten from that $125,000,000?
    Way to vague at this point.
    What Silicon Valley company CEO’s are crying for this program, saying they can’t do it on their own, or as a group?

  • JohnW

    Assuming the general idea had any merit, why would you organize into five regions? You do that if you’re Amazon.com and need geographically distributed warehouses.

  • GV Haste

    You organize into five regions for the same reason when you are going to fund building a new jet fighter, you have subcontractors in as many states as possible.

    That way you gain votes for passing the funding.
    Other than that, of course, its absurd.

    Looks to be a pure “I’m a tech guy” ploy by Honda.
    A guy who probably still has problems with his cell phone. “Siri, how do I make a call?”

  • Elwood

    @ 3

    All military funding works the same way.

    Not too many people are familiar with the Montana Navy.