Last week, the House of Representatives came together and passed a bipartisan agenda to help protect the private and public sector from domestic and international cyber attacks.
While technology has opened the door to so many new opportunities for our entire society, it has also made businesses and individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks. Competing countries, and criminals on our own shores, are constantly working to steal intellectual property and research and development information from American companies, costing our economy billions of dollars each year.
The longer we wait to update our federal laws to address these kinds of threats, the more sophisticated, frequent, and costly these cyber attacks will become. We cannot afford to fall behind as these threats become more and more serious.
The House took action last week, passing five cyber security bills that begin to address outdated legal barriers and open an avenue for information sharing between private companies on how they can best defend themselves - and the public - from cyber attacks. These improvements include research and development initiatives and allowing voluntary information on prevention and protection to be shared between the private sector and the federal government. These bills do not completely solve the entire problem, but they do take us in the right direction.
Cyber security is a matter of national and economic security, and the federal government must do more to help the private sector protect itself without adding more bureaucratic red tape. But because of this increased sharing of information, Members of Congress, outside groups and some individuals raised concerns about the personal privacy issues that could arise from businesses sharing information with the federal government. These issues were addressed by narrowing the scope of the bill and limiting the information businesses could share with the federal government as a way to ensure everyone’s privacy is protected. Congress worked closely with businesses to make sure these bills were helpful and effective.
As Congress continues to fight back against cyber attacks, I will keep you updated on all that we are doing.
Member of Congress