April 17, 2012

Chairman Mike Rogers Warns of Chinese Cyber-Espionage Threat and Discusses His Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Cybersecurity
“There are two companies left in America – those that have been hacked and know it, and those that have been hacked and don’t know it.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, delivered a speech to a Bully Pulpit Policy Breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society this morning, discussing the need to strengthen cybersecurity, the threat posed by China, and the bipartisan legislation he has authored that would help shore up America’s vulnerabilities in this regard.

“I’ve never seen something grow more exponentially serious than China’s capabilities in cyber espionage,” stated Rogers, who worked as an FBI Special Agent from 1989 to 1994. “It is a nation state that has – I believe – made the calculation that they are going to use cyber espionage to turn intellectual property that they’ve stolen from the United States or others – our European allies, our Asian allies – into commercial economic predator activity to directly compete against U.S. companies or our allied companies. It is so prolific – it’s breath taking. In the last year, China has stolen so much intellectual property that it would be considered 50 times the print collection of the United States Library of Congress.”

To address this and other cyber threats, Rogers said he has introduced The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3525). According to Rogers, the bipartisan legislation – which is cosponsored by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger and 110 other Members of the House – would, among other things, help the private sector defend itself from attacks from countries like China, while keeping the federal government’s hands off the Internet, and protecting Americans’ privacy. Moreover, Rogers noted, the bill would achieve these goals without imposing new federal regulations or mandates.

“I always said if I could get Palo Alto and New York City on the same bill, I got something,” the House Intelligence Committee Chairman stated. “The high tech community in Silicon Valley and the financial institutions of New York City – we could probably get somewhere if we can get them to agree. We found that sweet spot, we think, in this particular bill, and we think we’re making huge progress with the privacy groups so they understand what we’re trying to accomplish. It isn’t anything nefarious. It’s really, quite simply, to share information that the government has collected with the private sector so we can enlist every private security specialist in every company to be part of the solution to watch out for malicious software.

“That is really what we’re trying to do here. It’s pretty simple stuff. What we know -- and I always tell the CEO groups I talk to – is that if your CIO or CTO comes in and says, ‘Hey don’t worry about it. I got it covered and we don’t need any help,’ fire your CTO. Because there are two companies left in America – those that have been hacked and know it, and those that have been hacked and don’t know it. It is that serious and that significant.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

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