Langevin Statement on Senate Cybersecurity Bill
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, reacted to today’s introduction of the Senate’s Cybersecurity Act of 2012, comprehensive legislation that follows many of the recommendations of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, which Langevin co-chaired with Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) in 2008. In his statement, Langevin urged Congress to take advantage of a unique opportunity to deal with our top cyber priorities. His Executive Cyberspace Authorities Act, which was included in the House version of the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, is the only comprehensive cyber bill to pass either chamber to this point.
“I commend Senators Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, and Carper for their hard work putting together this comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. While I am hopeful we can continue to improve upon the critical infrastructure provisions regarding rules to ensure compliance with minimum security requirements that protect our citizens, we must not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the necessary. I urge the Senate to pass this bill.
“I also want to express my gratitude to Senator Whitehouse, a close partner on cybersecurity issues with whom I have been proud to work. He has been a true leader in this area from his time on the Senate Intelligence Committee and in his current role with jurisdiction over cybersecurity as a member of the Judiciary Committee.
“The Act significantly addresses our nation’s top cyber priorities of requiring stronger safeguards for critical industries, helping coordinate federal government capabilities, and providing for sharing of cyber threat information across the public and private sectors without sacrificing the privacy of internet users.
“While it is not the White House position recommended by CSIS that I preferred, I am pleased with the inclusion of a Senate-confirmed Cybersecurity Director at DHS. This should play an essential role in making our currently disjointed cybersecurity policies more uniform and efficient across the government, saving taxpayer money and guaranteeing high quality defenses for our networks and the sensitive materials on them.
“With major cybersecurity efforts also moving forward in the House, I am confident we can finally make substantial progress on this vital economic and national security issue. Our government networks are at risk; critical industries, such as the electric grid, that are owned and operated by the private sector, are extremely vulnerable; and businesses are losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year in research and development work through cyber espionage. It’s time to put politics and special interests aside and act in the best interests of the American people.”