WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine., and Federal Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., Wednesday said the legislative principles laid out by the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force demonstrate that comprehensive cybersecurity legislation can and should pass Congress this year.

Lieberman said: “The Recommendations of the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force are an important and positive step toward passing badly needed comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.  We now have broad and bipartisan consensus on the nature of the threat, and on the steps we need to take to address it, both within the government and in the private sector.  As cyber crimes and attacks take an increasing toll on our privacy, economy, and national security, there is simply no reason we can’t pass bipartisan legislation this year to address this urgent and growing threat.”

Collins said: “The House Cybersecurity Task Force is right to identify cybersecurity as a major national security concern.  While our approaches differ in a few respects, we share many areas of agreement on how to strengthen our defenses against cyber attacks.  There must be a collaborative partnership between the public and private sectors.  Regulation must be limited to the most critical infrastructure that, if compromised, could cause catastrophic harm to our nation.  As with our bill, the Task Force endorses a risk- and performance-based approach to keep pace with ever-changing technology.  And we agree that the Department of Homeland Security should take the lead in protecting the ‘dot-gov’ space.

“Both parties and both Houses need to come together to craft effective cyber security legislation now. To delay is to risk a significant cyber attack that we would be unprepared to defend against or respond to, with possibly catastrophic consequences.”  

Carper said: “The recommendations offered today by the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force are another sign that members in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle recognize that we must take steps to better protect America’s critical data and infrastructure networks.  While we might differ in our approaches in some areas, we agree in others.  Every day that we delay in moving forward with comprehensive cybersecurity legislation is a day that we allow ourselves to remain unnecessarily vulnerable to bad actors – whether they are criminals or cyber terrorists – who recognize that cyberspace is an ideal 21st century battlefield.  We should come together and redouble our efforts to pass this much needed cybersecurity legislation as soon as possible.”