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house Bill H.R. 53

If More People in the U.S. Were Computer Literate, Would U.S. Cyber Security be Improved?

Argument in favor

This bill would, through a number of programs, increase technological literacy nationwide — particularly in communities with less access to it. This would, in turn, increase national cybersecurity.

BananaNeil's Opinion
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03/29/2015
American computer literacy should be a very high priority for our society. This bill will have real impact on the technological capabilities of our workforce, and will help our country be as cyberly safe as possible.
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Cary's Opinion
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04/07/2015
Why not encourage a valuable skill for the future?
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PIF's Opinion
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04/03/2015
Allowing students to have greater exposure to computers will benefit our society.
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Argument opposed

As both technology's capabilities and its role in our society increase, it’s important that knowledge of technology keep up. But education is not the Department of Homeland Security’s job.

ThomasParker's Opinion
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05/23/2015
Since when has the government promoted literacy? Just look at our public school system.
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raucreativity's Opinion
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03/30/2015
Yeah, pretty sure a private organization would do a better job with this than the government.
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Tracie's Opinion
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03/30/2015
As much as I would love people to be more cyber literature, including myself, individuals need to take responsibility for their own education. And not depend on the government.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation
      Research and Technology
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
      Higher Education and Workforce Investment
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedJanuary 6th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 53?

This bill seeks to enhance U.S. cyber security by increasing Americans’ computer literacy on a number of fronts.


Essentially, the bill lays out a plan of action for the Office of Cybersecurity and Awareness Branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bill tasks the office with:

  • Recruiting cybersecurity workers for DHS;
  • Supporting science, technology, and computer safety education for K-12 students, creating training programs in colleges, and boosting public knowledge;
  • Improving access to technology programs at institutions of higher education that serve large percentages of people of color, and rural colleges and universities;
  • Filing a report on ways to increase the presence of ethnic minorities in cybersecurity.


This bill comes with a number of specific policy plans aimed at promoting tech education, including:

  • A grant program for science and technology education to schools in low-income and rural areas;
  • The "K–12 Science and Technology Learning Program", which would provide curriculum, teacher training, and grants for technology education training;
  • A matching program for after-school tech education programs;
  • DHS grants for colleges and universities to buy computer equipment and information security programs;
  • A mentorship program to pair undergrads and information security professionals;
  • A fellowship program where state and local officials can learn from national cybersecurity professionals.


There’s an informational component to the bill, as well. It creates a Board of Advisors for K-12 tech education that would issue quarterly reports on their findings. A working group would also be created to study information technology education in colleges and universities, and another to ensure that colleges and universities are adequately equipped. The bill also tasks the National Science Foundation with studying the high drop-out rate for women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

Impact

The Department of Homeland Security, cybersecurity firms, hackers, h4xx0rz, Historically Black Institutions, colleges or universities that primarily serve African Americans or Hispanic people, Native American institutions.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 53

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

December of 2014 was a big month for cybersecurity legislation. Congress passed things like the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, which gave the DHS authority over U.S. cybersecurity, and the Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act, which requires the DHS to conduct internal reviews and develop strategy. That might have something to do with the Sony hacks at the end of November 2014. Though Sponsoring Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) announced this bill that month, she didn’t put it to Congress until 2015.


Of Note:

According to the 2013 Census, white and Asian families are more likely to have computer access than are families of other ethnicities. And, shocker, wealthy people and the highly educated also have more access to computers. Also, those living in the West and the Northeast are more likely to have a high-speed Internet connection than folks in the Midwest or the South. 


Given the Internet’s increasingly important role in accessing jobs, healthcare, and education, the unequal spread of Internet has the potential to exacerbate economic and racial inequalities, as well. But while the bill contains a number of measures that are socially progressive, Rep. Jackson has framed it more as an issue of national defense. 



Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Press Release (Previous Bill Version)

Politico

C-SPAN

Summary by James Helmsworth

(Photo Credit: Flickr user exquisitur)

AKA

Cyber Security Education and Federal Workforce Enhancement Act

Official Title

To codify an office within the Department of Homeland Security with the mission of strengthening the capacity of the agency to attract and retain highly trained computer and information security professionals, and for other purposes.

    American computer literacy should be a very high priority for our society. This bill will have real impact on the technological capabilities of our workforce, and will help our country be as cyberly safe as possible.
    Like (11)
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    Since when has the government promoted literacy? Just look at our public school system.
    Like (9)
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    Yeah, pretty sure a private organization would do a better job with this than the government.
    Like (7)
    Follow
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    Why not encourage a valuable skill for the future?
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Allowing students to have greater exposure to computers will benefit our society.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    As much as I would love people to be more cyber literature, including myself, individuals need to take responsibility for their own education. And not depend on the government.
    Like (4)
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    Since when does the federal government need a bill for "recruiting cybersecurity workers for DHS"? And "filing a report on ways to increase the presence of ethnic minorities in cybersecurity"? Oh, please! Ethnic minorities don't need government hand-holding any more than white people do! "A fellowship program where state and local officials can learn from national cybersecurity professionals"? Don't make me laugh! The federal government has enough trouble just trying to make their own computer networks secure from foreign hackers, and when you have corrupt officials like Hillary Clinton ignoring security protocols to hide her own shady activities, well, you don't inspire much confidence and trust in the rest of us! • "A Board of Advisors for K-12 tech education"? ENOUGH OF FEDERAL MEDDLING IN THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN! THE LEFT HAS IMPLEMENTED TOO MANY POLICIES AS IT IS THAT ARE GEARED TOWARD DUMBING DOWN THE POPULATION, IN ORDER TO KEEP PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON THE NANNY STATE! AND YOU CAN KEEP YOUR FEDERAL GRANTS THAT ALWAYS COME WITH STRINGS ATTACHED! If you TRULY want a well educated and prosperous citizenry, restore our freedoms and remove the chains of government regulations that bind us! Honor your oath to preserve, protect and obey the Constitution! Quit just paying it lip service! WE DON'T WANT SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, AND/OR GLOBALISM IN AMERICA!
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    We are losing to the rest of world. When it comes to the the STEM's,when it comes to computer literacy. America is falling behind. It's time to get up and compete with the rest of the globe. Who knows,we may even help make America great again.
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    This is a silly approach!
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    More computer literate people = more hackers
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    More cyber literacy would produce more sophisticated hackers quite as fast as the average user would gain sophistication in thwarting them. The Chinese have used their sophistication to crack all levels of banking and defense and the energy grid already, while we slept complacently.
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    this seems like a no brainer.
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    Let's see what will happen with such a situation and the fact that the federal government's liberal faction want federal control over the internet: everybody crazy enough to do so will have so much information on the internet that government will know absolutely everything about us. EVERYTHING! That we who do not want to put our private information online, and do not want to deal with government without actual papers signed and documented by government officials, exist will be irrelevant. We will be forced to do all "paperwork" without papers that government officials have actually documented. This is already being pushed at the federal and state levels. I want something in writing on a physical document (paper) that proves I: submitted tax forms, paid taxes, purchased and sold real estate, possess a legitimate ID (driver's license, passport, etc.), and completed all other government-mandated informational actions. Trusting bureaucrats to document these through "air" is not good enough.
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    There's already a great catalyst for computer literacy in the U.S., our free market economy.
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    This is a mixed bag for me. I'm all for computer literacy because I'm really good at it and it's shocking that so many people aren't. Like my aunt. But I also feel like DHS shouldn't be funding this. Unless the person studying wants to go into cybersecurity or cyberwarfare.
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    Technological literacy is the #1 most important way to ensure continued world dominance!
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    Way too many people (my family included) are completely uninformed on computer security
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    Education is not part of home land security!
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    Please, no more ineptly delivered programs by the federal government!
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    PORK
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