The cybersecurity bill would require the US government to work with private industry to develop minimum cybersecurity safety standards that industry would have to comply with to secure computer networks.
Cardin, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s terrorism and homeland security subcommittee, compared the cybersecurity safety standards in his bill to safety requirements for vehicles.
“Just as automobiles cannot be sold or operated on public highways without meeting certain minimum safety standards, we also need minimum Internet and cybersecurity safety standards for our information superhighway”, he said.
The bill would require the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of developing and enforcing minimum safety standards on internet service providers and computer users to prevent infected computers from disrupting US networks and critical infrastracture.
The secretary would be required to submit a report to Congress within one year detailing the results of the analysis and providing consensus recommendations for the standards.
“We live in a digital world and we need to arm ourselves with the right tools to prevent a digital 9/11 before it occurs. Failure to take such steps to protect our nation’s infrastructure and its key resources could wreak untold havoc for millions of Americans and businesses, as well as our national security”, the senator warned.