Mitchell and Gottheimer Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Secure Rail Information

February 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI-10) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) introduced H.R. 4921, the STB Information Security Improvement Act, requiring the Surface Transportation Board (STB) implement an information security plan that follows recommendations set out in a recent unfavorable Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General (DOT IG) report.


According to the October 2017 DOT IG report, the STB’s information security program was found “not effective,” increasing its “susceptibility to external threats and to non-compliance with Federal requirements and guidelines.” These vulnerabilities leave STB employees’ and railroad stakeholders’ personal information and work unsecured and vulnerable.


“It is extremely important that all government data systems are safe and secure,” said Congressman Mitchell. “The Department of Transportation IG’s report was an alarming wake-up call that showed the STB is woefully inadequate in meeting this charge. My bill ensures the STB moves quickly to protect its digital infrastructure and all proprietary information submitted to it.”


“America’s rail infrastructure is decades old. It’s putting the safety of our families at risk. For too long, Congress has sat on the rails, watching as speeding train approach. It’s long past time we got moving. This legislation will help, bringing smart data safety to help protect our digital infrastructure and keep our rail economy strong,” said Congressman Gottheimer.


“I commend Congressman Mitchell and Congressman Gottheimer for their leadership on this issue, and for working to strengthen the security of information critical to our national rail transportation network,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-9).


The STB Information Security Act directs the STB to develop a timeline and plan to implement the security recommendations contained in the DOT IG report, and submit that plan to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Senate Committee on Commerce within 180 days of enactment. It also requires an annual update on the implementation of said plan.


To read the STB Information Security Improvement Act, click here.