Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rail data security bills head to U.S. Senate

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Two rail data and information security bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 10, 2018. The two pieces of legislation, STB Information and Security Act (H.R. 4921) and The FRA Safety Data Improvement Act (H.R. 4925), now move to the Senate.

 

"America's railways are a critical component of our national transportation system and their safety is of paramount importance," said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA). "The bills passed today in the House were overwhelmingly approved by the Committee in February and for good reason. Each will build upon our already safe railroad system by addressing important data and cybersecurity challenges."

H.R. 4921 would direct the Surface Transportation Board to implement an improvement plan for its information security system, as recommended by the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General (DOT IG). According to officials from the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, the bill is intended to provide effective, long-term improvements to the STB's information security program.

H.R. 4925 instructs the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop a plan and timeline to implement the recommendations of the DOT IG to improve the management and collection of railroad safety data. Officials said the legislation would ensure greater accuracy and quality of safety data collected and reported by the FRA.

"The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee bills passed today by the House will address cybersecurity challenges facing our rail systems, help federal agencies better prepare for changing technology threats and fill gaps in tracking, identifying and mitigating rail safety risks," said Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).