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Senate Bill Shines a Light on Global Cybercrime

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) this week made an important contribution to the unfolding cybersecurity debate in Congress when they introduced an updated version of their International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act (S. 1469), which aims to foster more effective coordination between the United States and foreign countries. As has been reported by Politico (subscription required) and The Hill, the bill adds to a growing mix of cybersecurity proposals in front of lawmakers, with negotiations expected to pick up even more steam this fall.

Similar to the Special 301 process that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative uses to spur America’s trading partners to improve intellectual property protections, the Gillibrand-Hatch bill would hold countries accountable when they fail to guard against cybercrimes that are directed at the United States. It would require the President to provide an annual assessment to Congress that identifies incidents of cybercrime originating abroad and proposes policy responses.

The bill includes provisions to accomplish a series of important goals:

  • Identify the extent and nature of cybercrime that impacts the United States, including the effectiveness of each country’s cybercrime law enforcement;
  • Assess measures taken by each country to protect consumers online;
  • Provide assistance programs to help foreign countries curb cybercrime;
  • Empower the President to withhold financing and foreign assistance to cybersecurity offenders;
  • Elevate cybersecurity standards as a requirement for foreign countries entering into trade agreements with the US.

BSA has long been a proponent of globally integrated cybersecurity policies. We released a Global Cybersecurity Framework in 2010, because we firmly believe no country can achieve true cybersecurity in isolation. There must be international standards and worldwide policy convergence.

The Gillibrand-Hatch bill will advance that cause, and we urge Congress to support it.

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