Alexander Appeals for Cybersecurity Legislation

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 25, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

The head of U.S. Cy­ber Com­mand on Wed­nes­day ar­gued cy­ber­at­tacks on U.S. net­works will in­crease if Con­gress does not pass cy­ber­se­cur­ity le­gis­la­tion that would com­pel crit­ic­al-in­fra­struc­ture pro­viders — in­clud­ing nuc­le­ar-power plants — to share more in­form­a­tion with the gov­ern­ment when they are hacked, the Wash­ing­ton Post re­por­ted.

Al­ex­an­der, who also dir­ects the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency, im­plored at­tendees at a Wash­ing­ton con­fer­ence to think of po­ten­tial cy­ber at­tacks on Wall Street com­put­ing net­works.

“What we can tell you is how they went down and how bad they were, but if we can’t work with in­dustry, if we can’t share in­form­a­tion with them, we can’t stop it,” the Post quoted him as say­ing at the Bil­ling­ton Cy­ber­se­cur­ity Sum­mit.

The four-star Army gen­er­al noted how ter­ror­ists are be­com­ing more ad­ept at cy­ber at­tacks, ac­cord­ing to Politico.

“Over 950 people were killed in Kenya, Syr­ia, Ir­aq, Ye­men and Afgh­anistan,” Al­ex­an­der said, re­fer­ring to vi­ol­ence in those coun­tries, “and we’re dis­cuss­ing more eso­ter­ic things here. Why? Be­cause we’ve stopped the ter­ror­ist at­tacks here.”

His com­ments came a day after a seni­or Sen­ate Demo­crat said she has draf­ted le­gis­la­tion in her cham­ber that would be akin to the Cy­ber In­tel­li­gence Shar­ing and Pro­tec­tion Act, which the Re­pub­lic­an-led House passed in April.

Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Di­anne Fein­stein (D-Cal­if.) said she plans to try to ad­vance her draft bill, ac­cord­ing to the Hill news­pa­per’s tech­no­logy blog.

The House-passed CISPA is in­ten­ded make it easi­er for crit­ic­al-in­fra­struc­ture pro­viders to leg­ally share more cy­ber-threat data with each oth­er and with the gov­ern­ment, and also to en­cour­age them to col­lab­or­ate as such. The bill has been viewed by in­dustry as a less-oner­ous al­tern­at­ive to thwarted Sen­ate cy­ber­se­cur­ity le­gis­la­tion craf­ted last year by former Sen­at­or Joseph Lieber­man (I-Conn.) and cur­rent Sen­at­or Susan Collins (R-Maine), which the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce charged would lead to ex­cess­ive reg­u­la­tion.

How Fein­stein’s po­ten­tial CISPA-like bill would fare in the Sen­ate and with Pres­id­ent Obama re­mains to be seen. The White House said Obama could veto the House ver­sion of the bill, which it ar­gued it would not sig­ni­fic­antly pro­tect cit­izens’ data pri­vacy.

Al­ex­an­der made his Wed­nes­day ap­peal for passing a cy­ber­se­cur­ity meas­ure while such le­gis­la­tion does not ap­pear to be ad­van­cing in Con­gress. Law­makers and cy­ber­se­cur­ity ad­voc­ates said the chance of move­ment has de­creased even more since former NSA con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden leaked in­tel­li­gence doc­u­ments to the me­dia de­tail­ing the agency’s wide­spread sur­veil­lance activ­it­ies. Some in Con­gress are more fo­cused now on lim­it­ing NSA’s sur­veil­lance powers.

Al­ex­an­der ap­pealed at the Wash­ing­ton con­fab for in­dustry to “work with us on cy­ber le­gis­la­tion.”

What We're Following See More »
STRIKES DOWN NEW HAMPSHIRE BAN
Court: Selfies in Voting Booth Now OK
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
WILL LEAD U.S. DELEGATION
Obama to Travel to Israel for Peres’s Funeral
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FOUR-POINT LEAD IN FOUR-WAY RACE
Reuters/Ipsos Shows Clinton Ahead by 6
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

In one of the first polls released since Monday night's debate, a Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 44%-38%. When third-party candidates are thrown into the mix, Clinton's share of the vote drops to 42%, with Gary Johnson picking up 7% and Jill Stein at 2%.

Source:
NO SHUTDOWN
Senate Votes to Fund Government
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Senate voted on Wednesday 72-26 on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9, averting a looming shutdown. The legislation will now go to the House, where it could be voted on as early as Wednesday. After this legislation is approved by the House, Congress will recess until the lame-duck session following elections.

FIRST OVERRIDE OF HIS PRESIDENCY
House Completes Override of Obama Veto
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Congress voted Wednesday to override President Obama for the first time in his eight-year tenure, as the House followed the Senate in rejecting a veto of legislation allowing families of terrorist victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The House easily cleared the two-thirds threshold to push back against the veto. The final tally was 348-77, with 18 Republicans and 59 Democrats voting no."

Source:
×