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Different committees oversee different agencies and businesses. And lawmakers, ever protective of their prerogatives, are often reluctant to allow other committees to act on contested or shared turf.

“There are so many elements and aspects of our online lives that are touched by ever-changing technology that putting together policies and laws that don’t become antiquated and yet address the concerns of all the relevant stakeholders is not easily done,” Ms. Herrera-Flanigan said. “The government has struggled to address [cybersecurity] for more than 25 years.”

Nonetheless, she is more sanguine than Mr. Lewis about the prospects for legislation in the new Congress.

“We will see a lot of activity in the 113th Congress on the cyber front,” she said.