McCaul on U.S. Cyber Security: ‘The Enemy Is Winning’

Penny Starr | January 9, 2017 | 3:46pm EST
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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) (AP Photo)

( – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said at a press conference in the nation’s capital on Thursday that when it comes to U.S. cyber security, the country is on the losing end.

“Every person in this room is a target, and the phones in your pockets are the battle space,” said McCaul, who is also co-chairman of the task force, that generated a cyber security report released last week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“The enemy is winning,” McCaul said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) was also on the task force, along with others, including James Andrew Lewis, a senior vice president and program director as CSIS.

The report was compiled to make recommendations to President-elect Donald Trump on cyber security, including securing critical infrastructure, putting in place a new international strategy and clarifying how cyber security efforts would fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Anyone can plainly see that a silent war is being waged against us in cyberspace,” McCaul said in his prepared remarks. “We must recognize if we do not shape the world around us, we will be shaped by it.

“That is why we need to project strength in both our nation’s cyber offense and cyber defense capabilities,” he said. “We must work to ensure sound cyber security policy to secure our nation from adversarial threats while importantly protecting our nation’s freedoms and civil liberties.

“We must more effectively deter our adversaries from taking advantage of us,” McCaul said. “Without serious consequences, our adversaries will continue to exploit our digital networks and harm our American way of life.

“We also cannot hesitate to advance U.S. interests abroad nor should we apologize for it,” he said. “Inaction will cause the world to be more dangerous for the United States.

“Finally, we must champion our ideals and American freedoms,” McCaul said, “and as the president-elect has said, American values are the bedrock of western civilization, and we are safer in the world where those values are shared.

“We also need to sound the alarm about the danger at our digital frontiers,” McCaul said. “Nation states, criminals, activists and terrorists are infiltrating our networks.

“Some want to embarrass us. Others are trying to copy our innovation, steal our nation’s secrets, and even undermine the very foundations of our Republic,” McCaul said.

Trump has said he will appoint a team to provide him with a cyber security plan within 90 days of taking office.

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