Cyber Legislation Must Address Insecurity of Our Critical Infrastructure

Bipartisan Committee Leaders Say

March 2, 2012

WASHINGTON – The four original cosponsors of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, S. 2105 – Senators Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. - issued the following statement Friday about an alternative bill introduced by eight Republicans Thursday:

“While we appreciate our colleagues’ commitment to passing a cybersecurity bill, it is absolutely essential that legislation address the cyber vulnerabilities of our most critical infrastructure.

“We agree with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that risk-based security standards for critical infrastructure must be part of the solution.  He said, ‘There are three areas that I believe should be emphasized as part of any comprehensive cybersecurity legislation: (1) risk-based security standards for our critical infrastructure, (2) information sharing, and (3) liability protections.  These areas are reflected in the Lieberman/Collins/Rockefeller/Feinstein ‘Cybersecurity Act of 2012….’ 

“By contrast, the bill introduced Thursday does little to ensure that we improve the security of critical infrastructure – not even the security of those systems that could cause catastrophic harm and mass causalities if damaged by a cyber attack.   

“We are also concerned that the proposal put forward Thursday would apparently displace DHS from the role it is already performing to help secure the federal government’s own computer networks. 

“Nevertheless, it is helpful to have a concrete proposal from which to continue our negotiations, and we look forward to working with our colleagues to address this vital national security challenge.”

Lieberman is Chairman and Collins is Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Rockefeller is Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; and Feinstein is Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence.