Comprehensive Cybersecurity Bill will be a Priority this Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senators Tom Carper, incoming Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today released the following statements on the introduction of S. 21, the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013: 

“The Internet touches the lives of everyone in American society on a daily basis,” said Carper. “It’s where we communicate, work, shop, and bank.  It also forms the backbone of key critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid, our water supply and our transportation networks. Given all that relies on a safe and secure Internet, it is vital that we do what’s necessary to protect ourselves from hackers, cyber thieves, and terrorists. Our nation needs a modern approach to ensuring the security of cyber space. I was disappointed that Congress could not come together to pass bipartisan cybersecurity legislation that I co-authored in the last Congress — the Cybersecurity Act of 2012— because it was a significant improvement over our current cybersecurity laws, which numerous experts have said do not go far enough to protect us. Today’s legislation underscores our ongoing commitment to working to address cybersecurity and it will help lay the groundwork for a framework that can balance the needs and concerns of both government and the private sector – and keep Americans safe. Our nation cannot afford more delay on this issue. That’s why I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the Administration and stakeholders to reach a solution as soon as possible.”

“The new Congress has a real opportunity to reach needed consensus on bipartisan legislation that will strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity,” said Rockefeller. “Throughout my five years of work on cyber, our military and national security officials and our country’s top business executives have made it abundantly clear that the serious threats to our country grow every day. The private sector and the government must work together to secure the networks that are vital to American businesses and communities. It is a priority this year to act on comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. I am grateful to Leader Reid for his leadership on the cybersecurity debate.”

“The threat of a cyber attack is real, and it is growing,” said Feinstein. “Congress must act soon to improve the government’s ability to share and receive information on cyber attacks and threats with the private sector.  Our national and economic security depend on robust information sharing, and I look forward to working with my colleagues again this Congress to develop strong incentives for this practice, coupled with the needed privacy protections.”

S. 21, the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013, is cosponsored by Senators John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chris Coons (D-DE).