Put immigration reform on hold. Put gun control legislation on hold. Even put the economy on hold. There is something more pressing: cybersecurity.
China is waging war on us every day — and has been for quite some time. It attacked at least 34 US companies in a coordinated attack in 2010; the White House, just months ago, confirmed a successful hack into its computer system; and most recently, the New York Times announced a large breach after publishing an article on Premier Wen Jiabao’s finances. The list goes on and on (China is not the sole perpetrator).
Three days ago, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience at Georgetown University that he believes “the next Pearl Harbor could be a cyber attack.” Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, has warned of a cyber “9/11.”
In the coming week, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) — and the ranking member — Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) — plan to reintroduce the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA has passed in the House before but failed in the Senate, with corporations and the Obama administration supporting it and civil rights advocates opposing it. President Obama recently signed an executive order that contains many of the same provisions as CISPA, but that order is not a long-term solution.
Congress ought to pass CISPA or use it as a launching ground for discussion and negotiation. And they ought to do it quickly.
The American People