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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. TERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me the opportunity to express my concerns with proposals that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to impose cybersecurity private infrastructure that it deems ``critical.''

The administration wants to expand DHS's role in designating private networks as critical infrastructure for the purpose of subjecting them to regulation, but it has yet to take care of its own networks. I commend Chairman Aderholt for including language in this bill that requires executive branch agencies to get their act together and formulate expenditure plans to protect their own networks. If they can't even secure Federal networks, why in the world would we want to give them authority to regulate private sector networks?

I understand that DHS currently works with the private sector on a voluntary basis, but that should be the extent of their involvement with critical infrastructure. As a member of the Speaker's Task Force on Cybersecurity, as well as the co-chairman of the Energy and Commerce Working Group on Cybersecurity, I have the very firm opinion that DHS simply should not be allowed to regulate cyber-critical infrastructure in the private sector.

I have great respect for the chairman. I will not be offering my amendment. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on this issue, and again thank the chairman for his courtesy.


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