McCain calls for bipartisan panel to draft cybersecurity legislation

In a July 13 letter to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), McCain said a rapid response is needed to counter the threat of insider leaks as well as cybersecurity breaches at US government agencies and companies.

“I truly believe the only way to move comprehensive cyber security legislation forward swiftly is to have committee chairmen and ranking members step away from preserving their own committees’ jurisdiction in order to develop a bill that serves the national security needs of all Americans”, McCain wrote in the letter.

The senator noted that at least three Senate committees have drafted cybersecurity legislation and at least seven committees have claimed jurisdiction over the cybersecurity issue. In addition, there have been various cybersecurity proposals put forward by the administration, including the White House’s cybersecurity legislation sent to Congress in May.

McCain called for the setting up of a Select Committee on Cyber Security and Electronic Intelligence Leaks that would bring together the efforts of various committees and the Obama administration.

The committee would work to develop comprehensive cybersecurity legislation and develop safeguards "to detect and defeat any insider threat of disclosure of classified documents such as we experienced with the Wikileaks fiasco that endangered the security of many of our nation’s diplomats and soldiers serving abroad.”

McCain added: “I truly believe the only way to ensure the protection of sensitive and valuable information from tampering or dissemination by unauthorized persons is a Select Committee.”

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?