< Back to H.R. 145 (100th Congress, 1987–1988)

Text of the Computer Security Act of 1987

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on January 8, 1988. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 8, 1988 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill).

101 STAT. 1724                     PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988

                     Public Law 100-235
                     100th Congress
                                                       An Act
                     To provide for a computer standards program within the National Bureau of Stand-
   Jan. 8, 1988        ards, to provide for Government-wide computer security, and to provide for the
    [H.R. 145]         training in security matters of persons who are involved in the management,
                       operation, and use of Federal computer systems, and for other purposes.

                      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Computer             United States of America in Congress assembled,
Security Act of
1987.                SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
Classified
information.           This Act may be cited as the "Computer Security Act of 1987".
40 u s e 759 note.
40 u s e 759 note.   SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
                        (a) IN GENERAL.—The Congress declares that improving the secu-
                     rity and privacy of sensitive information in Federal computer sys-
                     tems is in the public interest, and hereby creates a means for
                     establishing minimum acceptable security practices for such sys-
                     tems, without limiting the scope of security mesisures already
                     planned or in use.
                        (h) SPECIFIC PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act a r e -
                              CD by amending the Act of March 3, 1901, to assign to the
                           National Bureau of Standards responsibility for developing
                          standards and guidelines for Federal computer systems, includ-
                           ing responsibility for developing standards and guidelines
                           needed to assure the cost-effective security and privacy of sen-
                          sitive information in Federal computer systems, drawing on the
                          technical advice and assistance (including work products) of the
                           National Security Agency, where appropriate;
                              (2) to provide for promulgation of such standards and guide-
                           lines by amending section 111(d) of the Federal Property and
                          Administrative Services Act of 1949;
                              (3) to require establishment of security plans by all operators
                          of Federal computer systems that contain sensitive information;
                          and
                              (4) to require mandatory periodic training for all persons
                          involved in management, use, or operation of Federal computer
                          systems that contain sensitive information.
                     SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPUTER STANDARDS PROGRAM.
                       The Act of March 3, 1901 (15 U.S.C. 271-278h), is amended—
15 u s e 272.              (1) in section 2(f), by striking out "and" at the end of para-
                         graph (18), by striking out the period at the end of paragraph
                         (19) and inserting in lieu thereof: "; and", and by inserting after
                         such paragraph the following:
                            "(20) the study of computer systems (as that term is defined in
                         section 20(d) of this Act) and their use to control machinery and
                         processes.";
15 u s e 278h.             (2) by redesignating section 20 as section 22, and by inserting
                         after section 19 the following new sections:
15 u s e 278g-3.       "SEC. 20. (a) The National Bureau of Standards shall—

PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 101 STAT. 1725 "(1) have the mission of developing standards, guidelines, and associated methods and techniques for computer systems; "(2) except as described in paragraph (3) of this subsection (relating to security standards), develop uniform standards and guidelines for Federal computer systems, except those systems excluded by section 2315 of title 10, United States Code, or section 3502(2) of title 44, United States Code; "(3) have responsibility within the Federal Government for developing technical, management, physical, and administra- tive standards and guidelines for the cost-effective security and privacy of sensitive information in Federal computer systems except— "(A) those systems excluded by section 2315 of title 10, United States Code, or section 3502(2) of title 44, United States Code; and "(B) those systems which are protected at all times by procedures established for information which has been specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order or an Act of Congress to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, the primary purpose of which standards and guidelines shall be to control loss and unauthorized modification or disclosure of sensitive information in such systems and to prevent computer- related fraud and misuse; "(4) submit standards and guidelines developed pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, along with rec- ommendations as to the extent to which these should be made compulsory and binding, to the Secretary of Commerce for promulgation under section 111(d) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; "(5) develop guidelines for use by operators of Federal com- puter systems that contain sensitive information in training their employees in security awareness and accepted security practice, as required by section 5 of the Computer Security Act of 1987; and "(6) develop validation procedures for, and evaluate the effectiveness of, standards and guidelines developed pursuant to parEigraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection through research and liaison with other government and private agencies. "(b) In fulfilling subsection (a) of this section, the National Bureau of Standards is authorized— "(1) to assist the private sector, upon request, in using and applying the results of the programs and activities under this section; "(2) to make recommendations, as appropriate, to the Administrator of General Services on policies and regulations proposed pursuant to section 111(d) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; "(3) as requested, to provide to operators of Federal computer systems technical assistance in implementing the standards and guidelines promulgated pursuant to section 111(d) of the Fed- eral Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; "(4) to assist, as appropriate, the Office of Personnel Mansige- Regulations. ment in developing regulations pertaining to training, as re- quired by section 5 of the Computer Security Act of 1987; "(5) to perform research and to conduct studies, as needed, to determine the nature and extent of the vulnerabilities of, and to
101 STAT. 1726 PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 devise techniques for the cost-effective security and privacy of sensitive information in Federal computer systems; and "(6) to coordinate closely with other agencies and offices (including, but not limited to, the Departments of Defense and Energy, the National Security Agency, the General Accounting Office, the Office of Technology Assessment, and the Office of Management and Budget)— "(A) to assure maximum use of all existing and planned programs, materials, studies, and reports relating to com- puter systems security and privacy, in order to avoid un- necessary and costly duplication of effort; and "(B) to assure, to the maximum extent feasible, that standards developed pursuant to subsection (a) (3) and (5) are consistent and compatible with standards and proce- dures developed for the protection of information in Federal computer systems which is authorized under criteria estab- lished by Executive order or an Act of Congress to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy. "(c) For the purposes of— "(1) developing standards and guidelines for the protection of sensitive information in Federal computer systems under subsections (aXD and (a)(3), and "(2) performing research and conducting studies under subsection (bX5), the National Bureau of Standards shall draw upon computer system technical security guidelines developed by the National Security Agency to the extent that the National Bureau of Standards deter- mines that such guidelines are consistent with the requirements for protecting sensitive information in Federal computer systems. "(d) As used in this section— "(1) the term 'computer system'— "(A) means any equipment or interconnected system or subsystems of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, move- ment, control, display, switching, interchange, trans- mission, or reception, oi data or information; and "(B) includes— "(i) computers; "(ii) ancillary equipment; "(iii) software, firmware, and similar procedures; "(iv) services, including support services; and "(v) related resources as defined by regulations issued by the Administrator for (Jeneral Services pursuant to section 111 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; "(2) the term 'Federal computer system'— "(A) means a computer system operated by a Federal agency or by a contractor of a Federal agency or other organization that processes information (using a computer system) on behalf of the Federal Government to accomplish a Federal function; and "(B) includes automatic data processing equipment as that term is defined in section lll(aX2) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949; "(3) the term 'operator of a Federal computer system' means a Federal agency, contractor of a Federal agency, or other organization that processes information using a computer
PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 101 STAT. 1727 system on behalf of the Federal Government to accomplish a Federal function; "(4) the term 'sensitive information' means any information, the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of which could adversely affect the national interest or the con- duct of Federal programs, or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under section 552a of title 5, United States Code (the Privacy Act), but which has not been specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order or an Act of Congress to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy; and "(5) the term 'Federal agency' has the meaning given such term by section 3(b) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949. "SEC. 21. (a) There is hereby established a Computer System i5USC278g-4. Security and Privacy Advisory Board within the Department of Commerce. The Secretary of Commerce shall appoint the chairman of the Board. The Board shall be composed of twelve additional members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce as follows: "(1) four members from outside the Federal Government who are eminent in the computer or telecommunications industry, at least one of whom is representative of small or medium sized companies in such industries; "(2) four members from outside the Federal Government who are eminent in the fields of computer or telecommunications = ".i?.vj technology, or related disciplines, but who are not employed by or representative of a producer of computer or telecommuni- cations equipment; and "(3) four members from the Federal Government who have computer systems management experience, including experi- ence in computer systems security and privacy, at least one of whom shall be from the National Security Agency. "(b) The duties of the Board shall be— "(1) to identify emerging managerial, technical, administra- tive, and physical safeguard issues relative to computer systems security and privacy; "(2) to advise the Bureau of Standards and the Secretary of Commerce on security and privacy issues pertaining to Federal computer systems; and "(3) to report its findings to the Secretary of Commerce, the Reports. Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the National Security Agency, and the appropriate commit- tees of the Congress. "(c) The term of office of each member of the Board shall be four years, except that— "(1) of the initial members, three shall be appointed for terms of one year, three shall be appointed for terms of two years, three shall be appointed for terms of three years, and three shall be appointed for terms of four years; and "(2) any member appointed to fill a vacancy in the Board shall serve for the remainder of the term for which his predecessor was appointed. "(d) The Board shall not act in the absence of a quorum, which shall consist of seven members. "(e) Members of the Board, other than full-time employees of the Federal Grovemment, while attending meetings of such committees or while otherwise performing duties at the request of the Board
101 STAT. 1728 PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 Chairman while away from their homes or a regular place of business, may be allowed travel expenses in accordance with sub- chapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code. "(f) To provide the staff services necessary to assist the Board in carrying out its functions, the Board may utilize personnel from the National Bureau of Standards or any other agency of the Federal Government with the consent of the head of the agency. "(g) As used in this section, the terms 'computer system' and 'Federal computer system' have the meanings given in section 20(d) ofthis Act.";and (3) by adding at the end thereof the following new section: National Bureau "SEC. 23. This Act may be cited as the National Bureau of of Standards Act. Standards Act.". 15 u s e 271 note. SEC. 4. AMENDMENT TO BROOKS ACT. Section 111(d) of the Federal Property and Administrative Serv- ices Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 759(d)) is amended to read as follows: "(dXD The Secretary of Commerce shall, on the basis of standards and guidelines developed by the National Bureau of Standards pursuant to section 20(a) (2) and (3) of the National Bureau of Standards Act, promulgate standards and guidelines pertaining to Federal computer systems, making such standards compulsory and binding to the extent to which the Secretary determines necessary to improve the efficiency of operation or security and privacy of President of U.S. Federal computer systems. The President may disapprove or modify such standards and guidelines if he determines such action to be in the public interest. The President's authority to disapprove or Federal modify such standards and guidelines may not be delegated. Notice Register, of such disapproval or modification shall be submitted promptly to publication. the Committee on Government Operations of the House of Rep- resentatives and the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and shall be published promptly in the Federal Register. Upon receiving notice of such disapproval or modification, the Sec- retary of Commerce shall immediately rescind or modify such stand- ards or guidelines as directed by the President. "(2) The head of a Federal agency may employ standards for the cost-effective security and privacy of sensitive information in a Federal computer system within or under the supervision of that agency that are more stringent than the standards promulgated by the Secretary of Commerce, if such standards contain, at a mini- mum, the provisions of those applicable standards made compulsory and binding by the Secretary of Commerce. "(3) The staiidards determined to be compulsory and binding may be waived by the Secretary of Commerce in writing upon a deter- mination that compliance would adversely affect the accomplish- ment of the mission of an operator of a Federal computer system, or cause a major adverse financial impact on the operator which is not offset by Government-wide savings. The Secretary may delegate to the head of one or more Federal agencies authority to waive such standards to the extent to which the Secretary determines such action to be necessary and desirable to allow for timely and effective implementation of Federal computer systems standards. The head of such agency may redelegate such authority only to a senior official designated pursuant to section 35O60t)) of title 44, United States Federal Code. Notice of each such waiver and delegation shall be transmit- Register, publication. ted promptly to the Committee on Government Operations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Governmental
PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 101 STAT. 1729 Affairs of the Senate and shall be published promptly in the Federal Register. "(4) The Administrator shall revise the Federal information re- Regulations, sources management regulations (41 CFR ch. 201) to be consistent with the standards and guidelines promulgated by the Secretary of Commerce under this subsection. "(5) As used in this subsection, the terms 'Federal computer - -^> ,,, system' and 'operator of a Federal computer system' have the meanings given in section 20(d) of the National Bureau of Standards Act.". SEC. 5. FEDERAL COMPUTER SYSTEM SECURITY TRAINING. 40 USC 759 note. (a) I N GENERAL.—Each Federal agency shall provide for the mandatory periodic training in computer security awareness and accepted computer security practice of all employees who are in- ' ^* volved with the management, use, or operation of each Federal computer system within or under the supervision of that agency. Such training shall be— (1) provided in accordance with the guidelines developed pursuant to section 20(a)(5) of the National Bureau of Standards Act (as added by section 3 of this Act), and in accordance with ... the regulations issued under subsection (c) of this section for Federal civilian employees; or (2) provided by an alternative training program approved by the head of that agency on the basis of a determination that the alternative training program is at least as effective in accom- plishing the objectives of such guidelines and regulations. (b) TRAINING OBJECTIVES.—Training under this section shall be started within 60 days after the issuance of the regulations de- scribed in subsection (c). Such training shall be designed— (1) to enhance employees' awareness of the threats to and vulnerability of computer systems; and (2) to encourage the use of improved computer security practices. (c) REGULATIONS.—Within six months after the date of the enact- ment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Personnel Manage- ment shall issue regulations prescribing the procedures and scope of the training to be provided Federal civilian employees under subsec- tion (a) and the manner in which such training is to be carried out. SEC. 6. ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR COMPUTER SYSTEMS 40 USC 759 note. SECURITY AND PRIVACY. (a) IDENTIFICATION OP SYSTEMS THAT CONTAIN SENSITIVE INFORMA- TION.—Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, each Federal agency shall identify each Federal computer system, and system under development, which is within or under the super- vision of that agency and which contains sensitive information. (b) SECURITY PLAN.—Within one year after the date of enactment of this Act, each such agency shgdl, consistent with the standards, guidelines, policies, and regulations prescribed pursuant to section 111(d) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, establish a plan for the security and privacy of each Federal computer system identified by that agency pursuant to subsection (a) that is commensurate with the risk and magnitude of the harm resulting from the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modi- fication of the information contained in such system. Copies of each such plan shall be transmitted to the National Bureau of Standards
101 STAT. 1730 PUBLIC LAW 100-235—JAN. 8, 1988 and the National Security Agency for advice and comment. A summary of such plan shall be included in the agency's five-year plan required by section 3505 of title 44, United States Code. Such plan shall be subject to disapproval by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Such plan shall be revised annually as necessary. 40 u s e 759 note. SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act, the terms "computer system", "Federal computer system", "operator of a Federal computer system", "sensitive information", and "Federal agency" have the meanings given in section 20(d) of the National Bureau of Standards Act (as added by section 3 of this Act). 40 u s e 759 note. SEC. 8. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION OF ACT. Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed— (1) to constitute authority to withhold information sought pursuant to section 552 of title 5, United States Code; or Public (2) to authorize any Federal agency to limit, restrict, regulate, information. QJ- control the coUection, maintenance, disclosure, use, transfer, or sale of any information (regardless of the medium in which the information may be maintained) that is— (A) privately-owned information; (B) disclosable under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, or other law requiring or authorizing the public disclosure of information; or (C) public domain information. Approved January 8, 1988, LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—H.R. 145: HOUSE REPORTS: No. 100-153, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology) and Pt. 2 (Comm. on Government Operations). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 133 (1987): June 22, considered and passed House. Dec. 21, considered and passed Senate. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 24 (1988): Jan. 8, Presidential statement.