US Moves To Protect Electricity Grid From Attack

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The Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act would take measures to protect the electricity grid from telecommunications intrusions

Legislation that would protect the US’s electricity grid from attacks passed the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on 24 March.

The GRID Act (Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act) passed on a unanimous voice vote by the subcommittee.

 The GRID Act would direct the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to take measures to protect the electricity grid from telecommunications intrusions and follows a 23 March subcommittee hearing with all of the Commissioners of FERC.

The commissioners emphasised the gravity of the threat America’s grid faces and the inadequacy of existing law to deal with this threat. Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and others heard the same message during a classified briefing held last month.

“Right now, our electrical grid is vulnerable to threats from terrorists and hostile countries.  Our adversaries have motive, intent, and the capacity to exploit these weaknesses,” Markey said in a statement. “Every one of our nation’s critical systems – water, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, law enforcement, and financial services – depends on the grid.”

The bill now heads to the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

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