Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, participated in the hearing, "Securing America's Future: The Cybersecurity Act of 2012."

For more information on the hearing or to watch a webcast of the hearing, please click here.

A copy of his opening statement, as prepared for delivery, follows:

"I would like to thank Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins for calling this hearing and for working with me on this very important piece of legislation that we are discussing today.

"Nearly every week, we learn of a new cyber attack on our critical infrastructure, government systems, and businesses, and it appears that there is little relief in sight. According to FBI Director, Robert Muller, cyber threats will equal or surpass the threat of terrorism in the foreseeable future. While some hackers want to just cause mischief or make a political point, others want to hurt people. Still others want to steal our ideas, the ingenuity that supports the technologies and breakthroughs that fuel our economy and make us a great country. In order to protect lives and our trade and technological competitiveness, we must put a stop to these threats.

"With the introduction of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the Senate has once again taken a bold step to protect information systems in our country and better secure the critical infrastructure that we rely on every day for water, energy, and transportation among other daily needs. Our critical infrastructure is what keeps this great nation running, and we must do everything we can to protect these prime targets. The legislation that we will be discussing today would strengthen the electronic backbone of our most sensitive critical infrastructure by creating stronger cyber security standards for the sectors that are most vulnerable. Of course, the federal government cannot do this alone and that is why we are looking to build a true partnership between the key agencies and the private sector so that we can share information more freely.

"I am particularly pleased that the legislation includes a number of security measures that I have worked on for years to better protect our federal information systems. The public expects that agencies holding our medical records, Social Security numbers, proprietary business information, and military secrets will take every precaution necessary to ensure that it is secure and well-protected. This bill will help do that by replacing our outdated, paper-based security practices with a real-time security system that can help our government fight the rapidly evolving and highly agile cyber threats we face today.

"The bill also includes several workforce and research initiatives that I have been pushing to help develop the next generation of American cyber professionals. It makes an important investment in education, for example, by providing stronger cybersecurity training and establishing better cybersecurity programs in our schools and universities. Research and development for cyber security is also enhanced in the bill, a provision that can lead to the development of cutting edge technologies here at home that can help us stay one step ahead of our adversaries.

"I look forward to hearing from our distinguished panel of witness about the bill and also to working with my colleagues to bring it to the floor. I recognize that there are many good ideas out there about how we can make our country safer from cyber attacks, but we can no longer afford to sit by and wait while hackers, criminal organizations, and countries attack us, putting our economic competitiveness and even our lives at risk with the click of a mouse. The time to act is now."