Langevin, Smith, Thornberry, and Stefanik Introduce Bipartisan Cyber Legislation

Jun 8, 2017 Issues: Armed Services, Cybersecurity

Today, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) and Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), of the House Armed Services Committee, and Ranking Member James Langevin (D-RI) and Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, introduced H.R. 2807, that strengthens Congressional oversight of sensitive military cyber operations and cyber weapons. In describing the bill, the members said:

“This bill is an important bipartisan effort to establish a solid framework for Congressional oversight of DOD cyber operations outside of areas of active hostilities,” said Congressman Smith. “Over the past few years, military cyber operations have evolved, and as the evolution and maturation of both defensive and offensive operations continues, it is crucial that we establish clear standards, processes, and procedures for notification to Congress of sensitive operations. Drawing on lessons we’ve learned from the oversight of more traditional DOD sensitive activities outside of areas of active hostilities, this bill will enable Congress to provide additional support and oversight for these activities as they continue to develop as an essential component of U.S. military power. I am pleased to work with Chairman Thornberry, Emerging Threats Subcommittee Ranking Member Langevin, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Chairwoman Stefanik on this legislation.”

“While there are programs that must necessarily remain classified to keep the country safe," said Chairman Thornberry, "Congress still has a responsibility to conduct appropriate oversight in order to protect our security and our essential freedoms at the same time. This proposal to enhance congressional oversight of sensitive military cyber operations and cyber weapons will help achieve that balance by promoting greater transparency and accountability for some of the most classified elements of our national defense.”

“Cybersecurity is one of my highest priorities, and Congress has a vital role to play in this new domain,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “I am pleased this bill will ensure that as cyber operations are conducted by our armed forces outside areas of active hostility, Congress is subsequently notified to ensure the appropriate level of oversight is conducted. This bill brings cyber in line with the other notifications Congress already receives and will help broaden our collaboration and conversation with the Department of Defense when it comes to cyber operations.”

“Cyberspace is a critical front on the 21st Century Battlefield,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our adversaries – including North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia – are actively investing and developing their cyber capabilities, and we must continue to modernize and develop ours as well. This important legislation is a major part of an overall effort to strengthen our cyber warfare capabilities, enhance our international partnerships, and enhance congressional oversight of sensitive cyber operations and the technical and operational capabilities needed to conduct them. I thank Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee Ranking Member Langevin for their work on this critical issue and look forward to moving this legislation through the NDAA process.”