New 9/11 Report Urges Cybersecurity Legislation

A new report from the co-chairs and all 10 members of the original 9/11 Commission urges Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, saying it has proved resistant to needed reforms due to partisan politics that should have no place in securing the nation.

It concludes that cyber readiness lags "far behind the growing" threat," that data collection is a "vital tool" for preventing terrorist attacks, but needs to be "tempered" with measures to protect civil liberties.

"The American people remain largely unaware of the daily onslaught of cyberattacks against our nation's most sensitive and economically important electronic networks," the report concludes. "To date, the Government has done a poor job explaining to the public-with specificity, not generalities-what is being done and why. Government leaders must verify, and persuade a skeptical public, that data collection is no broader than necessary.."

Former 9/11 Commissioner Co-Chair Tom Kean got together with other former commission members and family members of 9/11 victims at the Newseum Tuesday (July 22) on the tenth anniversary of the release of their original report Tuesday to talk about the new report updating the state of the threat and progress toward addressing it.

On the cybersecurity front, the results were not comforting.

"A growing chorus of senior national security officials describes the cyber domain as the battlefield of the future. Yet Congress has been unable to pass basic cybersecurity legislation, despite repeated attempts," the report says.

Keane said that Washington has been poisoned by partisanship, but that partisanship should never prevent the protecting the country.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.