Continuing the Conversation on Cybersecurity

Jan 31, 2013

Recent media reports about the ongoing debate over how best to address our nation’s cybersecurity have provided an important way to keep the conversation going on this critical issue.  The Chamber appreciates the opportunity to play a role in finding solutions to protecting assets and information online, which will require the input of the nation’s top legislators and business leaders. We respect that not everyone agrees with our position and we value the contributions and ideas of others.

The private sector takes the cybersecurity of its networks and systems incredibly seriously; it embraces genuine public-private collaboration over regulation; and it is eager to help pass legislation that would make dramatic improvements to information sharing between business and government. This should surprise no one. No legitimate enterprise would ever want to put itself in danger.

The Chamber represents the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Over the course of the past three years we have engaged our members with weekly calls to discuss cybersecurity and decide on a workable solution. Our sole purpose is to be the voice of our members in Washington. 

Even though we supported many of its provisions, the Chamber opposed S. 3414. In our view, industry had concerns that the bill would—in practice—establish a new regulatory regime, fostering rigid adherence to rules and procedures rather than fostering the speed and creativity necessary to protect our nation’s infrastructure.

Instead, we supported two forward-looking bills—CISPA and SECURE IT. These measures would create a workable framework for exchanging cyber threat information. Also, in contrast to S. 3414, CISPA and SECURE IT offered stronger protections intended to incentivize business owners and operators to voluntary share cyber threat data with their peers and with government partners.

The Chamber urges the new Congress to move forward and stop looking back. We need to focus on legislation that can make a difference right away—improvements to information sharing and other effective measures that have earned broad stakeholder support.

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