STATEMENT OF SENATOR DANIEL K. AKAKA
Securing America’s Future: The Cybersecurity Act of 2012
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. I applaud your tenacity, and that of Ranking Member Susan Collins, Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein in pursuing the comprehensive cybersecurity legislation we are considering today. I also want to thank you and the Administration for incorporating my suggestions to the cyber workforce provisions of the bill. Employees of the Department of Homeland Security are on the front lines of countering the cyber threat, and we must make sure the Department has the appropriate tools to attract and retain the workforce it needs to meet these complex challenges.
Stakeholders have raised concerns about the privacy and civil liberties implications of certain provisions of this bill. I want to commend the bill’s authors for making progress in addressing these concerns. It is important for the final product to adequately protect Americans’ reasonable expectation of privacy, and I will continue to closely monitor this issue.
Federal Bureau of Intelligence Director Robert Mueller’s recent statement that the danger of cyberattacks will equal or surpass the danger of terrorism in the foreseeable future is a stark reminder that strengthening cybersecurity must be a key priority for this Congress. Cyber criminals and terrorists are targeting our critical infrastructure, including our electricity grids, financial markets, and transportation networks. American businesses face constant cyber attacks that seek to steal their intellectual property and trade secrets. However, cybersecurity policy has been slow to adjust to these ever increasing and sophisticated cyber threats.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 will give the Federal government and the private sector the tools necessary to respond to these troubling threats. Finalizing this important legislation is a pressing priority for this Congress, and I look forward to continuing to work with you on it.