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Hearing of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - "Cybersecurity: Threats to Communications Networks and Public-Sector Responses"


Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this morning's panel as part of our series of hearings on cybersecurity.

Over the past month, I've served as co-chair of the Subcommittee's Cyber Security Working Group with our colleague Lee Terry. Through this process, our staffs have gathered information from key stakeholders, focusing on issues such as supply chain integrity, information sharing, consumer education and our Subcommittee's jurisdiction in these areas.

We've learned that Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) pose a significant risk to our communications infrastructure. These sophisticated threats are often either state-sponsored or pursued by criminal enterprises, and have the potential to lead to significant theft or manipulation of data and other malicious activities.

Fortunately, experts like our witnesses today, work diligently to protect our nation from cyber threats. I look forward to learning from each of you about what your agency or institution is doing in the area of cyber security, such as Sandia National Labs' Adaptive Network Countermeasures (ANC) system, the DHS efforts concerning Domain Name Server Security Extension (DNSSEC), and the FCC's recent cyber recommendations from its Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). At the same time, however, it appears that no single cyber security solution is a silver bullet.

Therefore, to deter cyber criminals, we need to consider a well-coordinated, comprehensive effort that promotes research and development, consumer education, supply chain integrity and information sharing, yet ensures sufficient privacy and civil liberties protections.

It's also imperative that we don't take any actions that would inadvertently hinder the private sector development of cybersecurity technology, or create new network vulnerabilities.

I'm pleased to see that the public and private sectors are working together on cybersecurity issues. As I just noted, last week, the FCC's CSRIC unanimously endorsed voluntary, industry wide best practices to address Botnets, Domain Name Fraud, and Internet Route Hijacking. I applaud our nation's leading Internet Service Providers' (ISPs) who have agreed to adopt these best practices, and I urge others to follow their lead.

Today's hearing is an opportunity to better understand the public sectors' efforts in cybersecurity and how our Subcommittee can promote this work, whether by reducing specific statutory barriers or ensuring that communications networks are considered as part of any existing cybersecurity effort.

Thank you to each of our witnesses and I look forward to your important testimony.

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