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Finally, this entire effort needs to be balanced with a strong privacy framework that is responsive and accountable to the Congress and, most importantly, to the American people.
Vulnerabilities in one industry or government can have repercussions in unrelated fields involving companies or agencies with which they do not traditionally have partnerships.
Legislative proposals exist to break down barriers and encourage information sharing. They would streamline the government’s classification process to ease communication about new threats to the private sector and establish a system that allows business to make threats known to government while ensuring that privacy remains a top concern.
While our awareness of cyber threats is increasing, technology continues to outpace our efforts to protect our networks. Automated tools are lowering the bar for cyber mischief as advanced hackers get more creative every day.
I am pleased that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently committed to bringing up cyber legislation early this year, but we will make progress only if the issue receives the prominence it deserves and our leaders speak with one voice in recognizing the true extent of its effect on our economy and safety.
Our citizens are already suffering the consequences of inaction. Time is up. We know what needs to be done; all that’s left is to make it happen.
Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) is co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and ranking member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.