Letter to the House on H.R. 3394, the Cyber Security Research and Development Act
February 6, 2002
To Members of the House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on H.R. 3394, the Cyber Security Research and Development Act. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports efforts to protect the nation's critical infrastructure, and therefore urges you to support H.R. 3394.
Cyber security attacks are doubling in frequency every year. These attacks not only have the potential to wreck havoc on our information and telecommunications systems, but on all inter-related critical infrastructures, including financial services, transportation, energy and utilities and health and emergency services.
While this legislation to conduct additional cyber security research represents a good first step in the necessary efforts to increase cyber security, more needs to be done. Legislation to enable U.S. businesses to exchange information with each other and with the federal and state governments to guard against cyber terrorism and computer hackers would be a strong complement to H.R. 3394.
Specifically, under current law, businesses are often reluctant to share information with each other and with federal and state governments because of fears of potential antitrust liability and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosure of sensitive information. Therefore, the Chamber strongly supports H.R. 2435, the Cyber Security Information Act, introduced by Congressmen Tom Davis (R-VA) and Jim Moran (D-VA). This legislation would enable and encourage businesses to share information with each other and with government about potential attacks, vulnerabilities and solutions, by providing them with needed protections against potential antitrust liability and FOIA disclosures for information shared in good faith. By working voluntarily with each other and the federal government, our nation will have a more secure and reliable infrastructure and economic system.
Therefore, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports passage of H.R. 3394, the Cyber Security Research and Development Act, and urges the Congress to quickly take up and pass H.R. 2435, the Cyber Security Information Act, to enable business and government to work together to solve these very serious threats.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce