Coronavirus Bill as Negotiated by Democrats

The U.S. Senate finally passed the Coronavirus Relief Bill put forward by Republicans, which Democrats had to modify with restrictions.

 

The bill saw days of negotiations as many of the Democratic Senators fought long and hard to ensure that the federal government would release funds mainly for purposes of helping America’s workers and for bailing out qualified companies.

Whereas before, the language of the bill did not have much to offer as protection for American workers, healthcare providers and families. The original bill proposed by Republicans, did not impose transparency and adequate restrictions; nor required appropriate oversight on how and to whom federal funds will be doled out as bailout money.

Touted as the largest stimulus package to have been legislated in the annals of U.S. Congress, the original trillion-dollar stimulus fund proposed by Republican Senators doubled to 2 trillion. Mainly because the Democratic Senators also introduced a $750-billion emergency plan that would see to the payment of employees’ family leave, unemployment insurance and pick sick leave.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Dem-NY) had strongly pointed out that the proposed bill has the traits of a legislation mainly intended as “bailout money” for certain industries. Senator Schumer explained the Democrats’ position in opposing the original bill, saying

”It is not because we want those industries to go under; what we do not want is for companies to receive dollars that will go mostly to shareholders and corporate executives.” “What we want is to impose restrictions on stock buybacks, to make sure that bailout money will go to workers first.”…”Also, companies that lay off employees should be barred from receiving government aid.”

In responding to the arguments of Democratic Senators, Republicans accused them of engaging in politics in a time of crisis. Surprisingly, other Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Senator Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Senator Jim Lankford (Okla.) were one with the Democrats; albeit carefully wording their opposition to the proposals put forward by their fellow Republicans.

Senator Lankford told reporters

“I have a lot of questions on how this (bailout money) works, who gets it and who does not.”

Key Takeaways of the Approved Coronavirus Bill

Although language to the approved Coronavirus Bill has yet to be finalized, the key takeaways of the bipartisan deal include the following:

1) Direct payment of up to $1,200 and $500 financial assistance to eligible unemployed American adults and children, respectively.

2) $150 billion will be distributed as stimulus funds for state and local governments,

3) $130 billion will go to U.S. hospitals to bolster unemployment insurance

4) A $367 billion program to be made available to small businesses. The purpose of which is to give business owners capability to pay employees who have been ordered to shelter-in-place.

5) $500 billion to fund the loan and guarantee program that the Treasury Department will administer, which is broken down as follows:

  • $425 billion for U.S. states, cities and businesses;
  • $50 billion for distressed passenger airlines;
  • $17 billion for firms engaged in products and services essential to national security, and
  • $8 billion to cargo airlines.

6) The appointment of an independent Inspector General and creation of an oversight board to closely examine and inspect the Treasury Department’s lending decisions. This aspect became of particular importance, as Trump had previously told reporters that under the Republican proposal, he will be the “oversight.”

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Securing ICS to Pass Cybersecurity Legislation

Industrial Port

Rule number one about laws impacting the cybersecurity of industrial control systems (ICS) is that nobody talks about those laws. It appears that way based to acquire business stakeholders to speak about the record concerning the prospects at the Congress as it pertains to industrial management systems for almost any legislation which affects infrastructure.

Even though quite a few cybersecurity-related bills are introduced into the new Congress, just a couple of comparatively non-controversial parts of law, many reintroduced in the past Congress, deal mostly with vital infrastructure industrial management systems a surprise given that the stepped-up concerns over dangers to the country’s electrical grids, gas and petroleum pipelines, transport processes and dams and the increase of industrial supply chain problems that have captured headlines across the last couple of decades.

Part of the motive behind a legislative prognosis regarding management methods is that from crucial infrastructure providers’ viewpoints, no law is legislation that is very good. Analysts mandates or wish to provide money. Neither, obviously, does the Congress, especially on the Senate side, that is the place, at the words of a think tank analyst, “cybersecurity legislation belongs to perish,” since Politico reports.

Also Read: An In-Depth Look at How Our Laws are Made

Industry immunity to law thwarting ICS regulation

“Senator Johnson [Republican head of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee] has a reputation for swatting down cybersecurity laws. He’s a business background he does not like law,” states Patrick Coyle, writer of Chemical Security News, which monitors legislation affecting industrial and chemical management safety.

Coyle states Even though Johnson has rebuffed laws within the previous four decades, which could be shifting. A few of Johnson’s activities early in this Congress that is new, such as of 3 dimensional debts, make the point that his committee will handle this session.

Another motive for inaction with the most sensitive of problems that are cybersecurity is its sophistication. “The lexicon of cybersecurity includes a large blind area: Industrial control safety problems. Virtually all definitions depend on definitions of computer language that rigorously bear on information technologies,” Coyle says.

Even the inherently intricate character of ICS might be an element in not just reluctance but might well be a safety mechanism in and of itself. “The one thing saving the safety of the [electrical] grid is it is such a gigantic, multi-faceted creature that’s been made to recover fast by physical attacks by squirrels and weather.”

ICS security attempts might be negatively impacted by Legislation

Any kind of ensuing regulations or laws might wind up hamstringing safety efforts that are fide market planet of ICS, from the complicated. “There is a stage where we could be over-legislative concerning safety to where it is not possible for safety to be achieved,” Lesley Carhart, chief hazard taker in ICS cybersecurity company Dragos states.

The threat lies in being overly specific throughout the board, providing extensive mandates that may not match a plethora of management circumstances. “Do not make things too perceptible for a distinct operator or vertical,” Carhart states. “Different levels of surgery and various degrees of maturity” demand unique solutions.

“Safety issues generally, cybersecurity, are extremely tricky to regulate since there’s so much diversity in the methods which are vulnerable. What’s going to secure 1 system won’t secure the following system. What’s a legitimate safety cost in 1 area is overkill in a different,” Coyle says.

Infrastructure suppliers that are small stand to profit from the aid of Congress

One ICS place is helping vital infrastructure firms without crafting any laws, while coping with ICS-specific cybersecurity jobs or handling the array of cybersecurity requirements, including management or violation telling of net of items apparatus. “It is difficult to compose a law which does not impact modest organizations otherwise than large associations,” Patrick Miller, president emeritus of the Energy Sector Security Consortium (EnergySec) and managing partner of Archer Energy Solutions, states.

Concerning cybersecurity, “Electricity is performing well, thus is gas and oil…however when you begin considering smaller sewage and water operators…. Frequently those little operators have one safety person if they are that lucky,” Carhart states. There aren’t enough “hours at the days to really begin taking a look at security occasions, which is something which actually has to be dealt with,” especially for smaller operators.

Sewer and water are overlooked crucial infrastructure

One overlooked region in management safety is the country’s sewer and water infrastructure. “Should you ask my coworkers that business erect keeps them up at night, then it is water,” Carhart states. “Getting clean water is a great deal more subtle and it is a whole lot more insidious…when warm water isn’t treated correctly that is a far more critical situation. Nobody believes about them they sort of getting left behind from a lot of initiatives”

The one law on the congressional schedule that speaks about ICS will be currently H.R.680, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, which rolls industrial management procedures, introduced by Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)along using a companion bill on the Senate side introduced by Representative Angus King (I-ME). That law allocates $10 million to get a schedule over the Department of Energy National Laboratories also to examine and to discover cyber vulnerabilities.

Implementing the knowledge may end up being a struggle from the world of safety, though the bill is regarded non-controversial. “The challenging part is if it is made at a federal laboratory is the fact that it is competing with the private industry, “Archer Energy’s Miller states. “How can you perform the tech transfer? Without exit avenues, this is essentially going to become an academic exercise”

Which does not mean Congress is not doing its homework if Congressional action is to the horizon. “I am impressed with how congressional staffers are included,” Carhart states. “It is the staffers from the offices which are performing the research along with a lot of those outreach.”

Reference:

Industrial Cybersecurity
https://www.abhisam.com/industrial-control-system-cybersecurity/

Is It Illegal to Use Apple Watch While Driving?

Apple and/or Smart Watches which use the apple watch bands series 5 has become increasingly popular in conjunction with the rise of the technological era. Learning the Road Rules does not mean that the use of smart watches prohibits it during driving. Yet, it is a fact that the use of smart phone is strictly prohibited and there’s no legal person who is not restricted for its use?

Rule 300(1) of Using Smart Watches in Driving

This rule implies that the smart phone utilization while driving is prohibited unless:

  1. The smart phone is placed securely in a fixed mounting position.
  2. The driver does not hold the phone and using it while driving does not need touching anything on the parts of the phone.

Smart watches are really different due to the reason that they are not categorized as mobile phone. Meanwhile, the utilization of smart phone does not require manipulation of any parts of the phone.

Definition of smart watches

Based on the Rule 300(4), it does not give a clear definition of a mobile phone to link to it as a smart watch. Moreover, how smart watches really work is by assisting in the mobile phones’ operation. In addition, smart watches also have features that are completely independent on the mobile phones. These include the GPS map, heart rate monitor, and time which all operate fully without connecting to a phone.

Utilization of a smart watch through your mobile phone is allowed as it is not really a mobile phone. And the word “USE” in the Road Rules has a definition of any action that runs any of the phone’s function. But it is actually legal to do a call function, either to make or to receive it, in case the phone is mounted. On the other hand, this is also legal if the driver do not do any action to manipulate the phone.

Unit for Visual Display

Another concern for a smart watch is its classification being a visual display unit. The Rule 299 defines those screen images and not the messages or emails. This does not mean that smart watch utilization while driving is a good one. Yet, the best guide is to be aware of the laws of the road and to not use the smart watch most of your driving time.