House Panel Approves NDAA Cyber, Quantum Provisions

The House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats today approved by voice vote legislative provisions for cyber education efforts, a report on quantum computing, as well as oversight of the National Guard’s role in responding to cyber incidents.

“This mark’s cyber provisions build on the important oversight the subcommittee has conducted,” said subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., in his opening remarks at a mark-up session today. The mark provides additional statutory budgetary oversight for military cyber operations, an area the subcommittee has scrutinized previously.

The legislative provisions approved by the subcommittee today ask the Department of Defense (DoD) CIO to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on how participation can be increased for programs such as GenCyber; Centers for Academic Excellence – Cyber Defense; and Centers for Academic Excellence – Cyber Operations. The legislation also asks for a report from the department’s principal cyber advisor on how to improve the Training With Industry (TWI) programs. Both reports are aimed at improving DoD’s cyber workforce.

The bill also asks for the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees “containing an assessment of the current and potential threats and risks posed by quantum computing technologies.” The report, due by Dec. 31, 2021, also would provide recommendations on how to counter risks posed by quantum technologies.

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The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to work with the chief of the National Guard Bureau to submit a review and plan for how the National Guard is used to respond to cyber incidents. U.S. Cyber Command said earlier this month that 12 states had registered for a Cyber 9-Line program, which uses the National Guard to respond to cyber incidents.

The House Armed Services Committee is scheduled to have its full committee markup of the NDAA legislation on July 1.

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