Further demonstrating Rhode Island's leadership on one of the top national security issues facing the country, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have been invited to address a major cybersecurity conference at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. The event, titled "America's Prosperity and Security in a Networked World: Challenges and Prospects," runs from Sunday, June 3, through Tuesday, June 5.
Langevin, who co-founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and authored the only comprehensive cyber legislation to pass either chamber of Congress, will give remarks on the federal role in protecting public safety, prosperity, and national security in cyberspace and take part in a panel discussion on that topic on Monday, June 4, beginning at 10am.
Whitehouse, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee's Cyber Task Force in 2010, is scheduled to give the opening address on Sunday evening at 6pm, when he will discuss the cybersecurity challenges facing the military and the nation, and the need to increase public awareness of cyber threats.
Both officials' remarks will be made available during the conference.
"Rhode Island is setting a national standard with cybersecurity partnerships among state agencies, educational institutions and businesses, and we are proud that some of the insights from those efforts will inform this important event," said Langevin and Whitehouse. "As the Director of the FBI has warned, cyber risks will soon pass terrorism as our most serious national security threat, and we hope this conference will help generate solutions to the challenges our country faces."
Other speakers include Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Northrop Grumman Corporation CEO Wes Bush and General Keith Alexander, Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency. The meeting is the 49th Annual Senior Conference at West Point. The premise of the conference is that our society and government have not fully addressed the fundamental issues stemming from America's dependence on cyberspace.
Langevin and Whitehouse have played central roles in the debate on cybersecurity policy. While applauding House passage of bills he worked on earlier this year to strengthen federal networks and allow for better sharing of cyber threat information across the public and private sectors, Langevin has been vocal that any action will be inadequate unless safety requirements are put in place for critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid and water systems.
Whitehouse joined with Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to introduce the Cyber Security Public Awareness Act in 2011, and has been active in efforts to craft cybersecurity legislation in the Senate.