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Homeland Security to Expand Control Over The Internet

Under a White House plan, the Homeland Security Department will have far-reaching oversight over all civilian agency computer networks. The proposal would codify much of the administration's memo from July 2010 expanding DHS's cyber responsibilities for civilian networks. The White House, however, is taking those responsibilities further, according to a source familiar with the document. The administration drafted a legislative proposal to give DHS many, if not all, of the same authorities for the .gov networks that the Defense Department has for the .mil networks. Federal News Radio recently viewed a draft copy of the legislative proposal. "I have to question why the Executive branch is writing legislation," said the source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about it. "This is not a proposal or white paper like the White House usually sends to Capitol Hill. This is the actual legislation." The source said the 100-page document is going through interagency review. DHS sent the document around to agencies late last Friday and asked for comments by Monday. The source said few agencies had time to take a hard look at the document, especially in light of the possible government shutdown. Sources on Capitol Hill and in government confirmed the White House is working on such a proposal. A DHS spokesman said the agency doesn't comment on pending legislation. Incorporates Senate cyber bill, OMB memo The bill would bring together legislative proposals by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), as well as Office of Management and Budget's memo from July 2010 expanding DHS's authorities.

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