The Obama administration's proposal for protecting banks, powergrids and government computers from cyber attacks urges tighteningoversight of critical infrastructure and requiring companies tonotify consumers of data breaches.

The Homeland Security Department would “work with industry” todetect vulnerabilities in electrical grids and financial networks,according to a summary of the proposal released today by the WhiteHouse. The plan also calls for mandatory minimum penalties forcomputer-related crimes.

The administration's proposal seeks to jump-start efforts inCongress to update U.S. laws in response to the increased threat ofcyber attacks capable of crippling business and governmentoperations.

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