Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Wednesday he plans to reintroduce cybersecurity legislation designed to boost international cooperation to confront digital threats.
"If we don't get real about this, we could have some catastrophic events that could really hurt the country," Hatch told reporters after an appearance at a forum hosted by The Atlantic.
He said the bill would be "basically" the same as the measure he offered in the last Congress with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Hatch did not specify when he would offer the bill, but he expressed surprise that it wasn't already filed and said the exact timeline would depend on his staff and Gillibrand's office.
In 2010, Hatch and Gillibrand introduced the "International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act" that would have required, among other things, an annual cyber security report from the president; increased goals and benchmarks for combating foreign cyber attacks; increased foreign assistance for countries fighting cyber crime; and more State Department employees focused on cyber security.
Hatch said his bill is not comprehensive but would "go a long way in at least getting serious about this problem."
He declined to comment about potential competition with other cyber security bills, including a highly controversial measure offered in the last Congress by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee leaders that would give the president emergency authority to protect the nation's critical infrastructure in a national emergency. Some critics say the bill would allow the president to shut down the Internet in a national emergency, which the bill's sponsors have adamantly denied.