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Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. THORNBERRY. I thank Chairman Issa for yielding. Madam Speaker, I want to commend the chairman and the ranking member for working together and bringing this important bill to the floor.

I also want to commend the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Chaffetz), who was a member of our task force and, as the chairman noted, has done so much work on this.

Madam Speaker, this is an important bill on cybersecurity. The FISMA law passed in 2002 needs to be updated. The growth in the number and sophistication of the threats has not been matched by our response, and so laws and policies are increasingly outdated and not able to keep up with the threats faced by Federal networks as well as private sector networks.

And this bill requires continuous monitoring, as you have heard. The threat is dynamic. It changes. It doesn't work anymore to just check a box and say, I've done this. You have to have that continuous monitoring of what's happening within your networks. That's important for defense of the Federal Government, but it's also important to be an example for the rest of the country. And in cybersecurity, it seems to me, it's particularly important for the Federal Government to lead by example.

I also want to just say that this is an example of an issue, a part of cybersecurity, on which everybody agrees needs to happen, and this committee
has brought a bipartisan answer. We cannot allow differences that may exist between this body and the other body on other cybersecurity issues prevent us from taking action, getting something accomplished on something that everybody agrees on.

This is one of the things everybody agrees needs to happen. Information-sharing, everybody agrees on. Research and development that we'll have tomorrow on the floor, everybody agrees needs to happen.

I appreciate the work of this committee. It's an important bill. It will help make the Nation more secure, as well as this government, and I hope all Members will support it.


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