Senators reject creation of new cybersecurity committee


Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are calling on Senate leaders to reject a proposal that would create a temporary committee to draft cybersecurity legislation.

In a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Collins and Lieberman said the creation of a temporary committee “would be a real mistake and a waste of time,” according to the July 13 letter.

In an earlier letter, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., proposed the creation of the Select Committee on Cyber Security and Electronic Intelligence Leaks to create legislation to protect critical infrastructure like the electric grid and financial network.

McCain argued that there are too many committees with oversight of cybersecurity, and the only way for comprehensive legislation to move forward is if lawmakers “step away from preserving their own committees’ jurisdiction.”

Tom Carper, D-Del, Collin and Lieberman introduced the 2011 Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act in February to amend the 2002 Federal Information Security Act and set limits on what the government can do to protect information infrastructure.

A new committee would “require a restart of efforts that have been underway for years and would wash away the significant progress that the Senate has made.”

Several House and Senate committees, including the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have held hearings to review the White House cybersecurity proposal and hear from experts on the growing number of cyber attacks and needed solutions.


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