Cyber criminals and state adversaries pose a threat to both national security and our economy by threatening infrastructure, defense systems and global communications. Criminals and hackers probe U.S. government computer networks millions of times every day, about 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year and cyber crime costs large American businesses $3.8 million a year. More than $1 trillion worth of and intellectual property has already been stolen from American businesses.
Yesterday Senate Democrats introduced a bipartisan bill to stop state actors, criminals and terrorists in cyberspace determined to harm America’s economy and national security by attacking our technology infrastructure. The bill is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the chairs of seven committees of jurisdiction, Chairs Joe Lieberman, Jay Rockefeller, Carl Levin, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry and Jeff Bingaman.
“Today we rely more heavily than ever on technology to run everything from power plants to missile systems to personal computers,” Sen. Reid said. “Cyber attack could, for example, bring down our nation’s air traffic control system in a matter of seconds, with devastating impact on the economic vitality of tourist destinations throughout Nevada and our country. We must strengthen security to ensure that never happens.”
The Lieberman-Collins measure isn’t designed or intended to give broad new authority to the executive branch (nor establish an “Internet Kill Switch”). Instead, it was designed to, with the help of the industry, to determine which infrastructure was actually critical and how to best protect it to prevent a catastrophic event and mitigate the fallout from one based on existing authority.
From the Democratic Senators website: http://democrats.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=330568&