Senators Send Letter To President Obama Urging Cooperation With Congress On Cybersecurity

Most of our day to day lives are integrated with technology.  Most of us have bank accounts with debit cards that we use on a daily basis at Starbucks, the restaurant down the street, and at the grocery store.  Those stores are connected to banks, inventory systems, etc. across the Internet.  Imagine waking up one day and going out to do your normal routine and swiping your debit or credit card and nothing happens.  It gets declined….try another card, and it gets decline.  Imagine in this scenario that it happens to your neighbor, your friends, your family, and millions across the United States.  The entire financial industry is crippled due to cyberattackers from the Middle East, Russia, or China.  How could we operate if that happened?  That’s why the issue of cybersecurity is an important issue for both government and private industry.  Especially with the attacks that blocked the websites of some major US banks last week.

Senator Saxby Chambliss, along with a few of his senate colleagues, signed a letter to President Obama urging him to work with Congress rather than issuing executive orders about the issue of cybersecurity.  The text of the letter is below the fold:

Dear Mr. President:

We share the concerns expressed by you and many Members of Congress regarding the danger of cyber-attacks against the U.S. government and national critical infrastructure. While the Senate has yet to reach an agreement on the best way to enhance cybersecurity, we firmly agree on the need to maintain congressional prerogative when dealing with broad and challenging issues like cybersecurity. The gravity of this threat requires a genuine bipartisan effort to advance legislation, not a selective and unilateral Executive Order, which simply cannot provide the incentives to encourage private sector participation and the requisite information sharing to address evolving threats.

Neither industry nor government alone can broadly improve cybersecurity. The U.S. government requires the situational awareness and innovation of industry, while industry requires the assistance and classified expertise of government. Implicit in these requirements, especially if we are to protect our nation’s economic and security interests, is the need for certain statutory authorities and protections that do not exist today and cannot be provided in an executive order.

An issue as far-reaching and complicated as cybersecurity requires all stakeholders to work together to develop an enduring legislative solution through formal consideration and approval by Congress. Yet, rather than build confidence and unity among key stakeholders, an Executive Order will solidify the present divide. Only the legislative process can create the durable and collaborative public-private partnership we need to enhance cybersecurity.  We remain committed to this legislative process and urge you to work with Congress rather than act unilaterally through an Executive Order.


  1. Spacey G says:

    Neither here nor there, but this exact “All Access To Everything Is Denied” scenario plays-out in one of THE best cyber-thrillers ever, The Last Enemy, which if you haven’t seen yet please drop everything and go do. Now.

    I won’t give away the magnificent, wildly ambitious plot, but let’s just say it’s something to the effect of “the greatest enemy is always… from within.” (And the greatest working actor right now is Benedict Cumberbatch who stars in The Last Enemy, but that’s a whole other Facebook post from me.)

    Happy chills and shivers to you! (Trust me, your blood will run cold.) It’s available for instant streaming if you have a streaming account on Netflix:

  2. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    ooooooh. Another sternly written letter. I’m sure Obama is quaking in his boots.

    Chambliss is so pathetic.

    When he’s not undercutting efforts to get the budget under control and pushing for Amnesty, he sends letters.

    Someone should remind the guy he is a Senator. He has the power and responsibility is to stop Obama from shredding the Constitution. Instead, all we get from this g0-along-get-along potted plant is the occasional sternly written letter.

  3. gcp says:

    More useless talk from Chambliss. Can you Repubs get someone to primary him in ’14? How about Hunter Hill or Martha Zoller?

  4. Scott65 says:

    Cyber-security is one of those “buzz words” that is supposed to make us aware of the need for it to be better. I would challenge anyone to tell me why we need extra laws outside of the ones we have. The fact is, we dont. This is just an excuse to give the government more power to snoop into everything you do, know what you are doing online, and what forums you visit…all without a warrant. Think I’m wrong…guess what, they do it now…most of it at the RIAA and MPAA’s request. Trust me…cyber-security is short for “use the police power of government to help prop up our fading and outdated business model”. ACTA, and now the TPP were/are both being drawn up in secret (unless you work for the above RIAA/MPAA who have unfettered access). Both Rep. Issa and Sen Wyden have both been denied full access to the document (truly bi-partisan) by trade rep Ron Kirk who somehow thinks the law is for everyone but him. This is some serious stuff and this isn’t tinfoil territory either. Anyone who is afraid of an overbearing government should take a good long look at this…this aint agenda 21, its real. Look at any tech blog and you’ll read about it (techdirt is my favorite…but there are several)
    Ok…haven’t had a good rant in a while…hopefully someone listened

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