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Feb 5, 2012 2:19 PM by Matt Stafford

US to play bigger role against companies' cyberthreats?

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new Senate proposal would give the government more power to regulate the computer security of critical industries.

The plan, which is expected to be released in coming days, would try to make sure that computer systems that run power and nuclear plants, electrical grids and other crucial systems are protected from hackers.

Officials familiar with the bill say it would empower the Department of Homeland Security, with input from businesses, to decide which companies to regulate. It also would enable the agency to demand better security controls.

The proposal is already drawing strong opposition from businesses that say it goes too far. Security experts, however, say the bill should have even more teeth because of the damage that can be done by cybercriminals.

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