Five former top military and civilian officials have urged Senate leaders to bring cybersecurity legislation to the floor as soon as possible in a letter dated June 6 and posted on the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s website.
Signees of the letter include:
- James Cartwright, retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and board member at Raytheon
- Michael Chertoff, former homeland security secretary and board chairman at BAE Systems Inc.
- Michael Hayden, former director of national intelligence
- Mike McConnell, former National Security Agency director
- Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy defense secretary
In the letter, addressed to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the officials wrote that the country does not want to be in position where intelligence could avert a “cyber 9/11.”
Malware can travel from Asia to the U.S. in 30 milliseconds, the former officials wrote.
The letter recommends legislation that covers the protection of critical infrastructure, cyber research and development and information sharing between the government and private companies.
The letter does not advocate for any specific legislation but the officials noted the progress of a proposed bill sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).