US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are pushing lawmakers to pass some sort of cybersecurity bill to protect critical infrastructure in the United States. Both say that waiting much longer could prove to have devastating consequences.
Napolitano said the lawmakers should not wait until we have a "cyber 9/11" to act:
"We shouldn’t wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world. There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of the damage,” Napolitano said in a speech at the Wilson Center, a Washington, DC think tank."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also been ringing alarm bells for awhile about a potential attack at the hands of cyber terrorists. Back in October he said we could face a cyber Pearl Harbor if we don't do something about protecting critical infrastructure now.
"A cyber attack perpetuated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11," he said during a speech. "Such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could paralyze the nation."
Both want to see a cybersecurity bill passed as soon as possible - something similar to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act that was sidelined last year in the Senate.
The President has also been pushing for some sort of cybersecurity bill to be passed by lawmakers and has threatened to issue an executive order to put some protections in place if Congress doesn't act.
The problem is that online privacy advocates and businesses do not like the idea of the government regulating them or the idea of government agencies sharing private data of U.S. Internet users...