On March 9, Robyn Greene testified in front of the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection. In a hearing on the current state of DHS private sector engagement, OTI’s Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Lead for digital security spoke compellingly about the mutually reinforcing relationship between privacy and security.
In her testimony she expressed concerns about the potential impacts on American’s privacy under the Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed in 2015 despite the remaining issues with the law. Robyn complimented the work that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has done to implement cybersecurity information sharing in a careful way that protects both privacy and cybersecurity. She also urged congress to take a more holistic approach to cybersecurity, and made several recommendations that would help make the internet more secure through “privacy and security by design.”
Members of the subcommittee asked some tough questions, and many clearly agreed with Greene’s concerns about the necessary balance between civil liberties and security.
Subcommittee Chair Rep. John Ratcliffe opened the questioning by asking what each of the panelists would say should be the highest priority for this new administration. As she had in her testimony, Green cited the importance of maintaining DHS’s role as the lead cybersecurity agency instead of turning to the military or intelligence communities, and the need for more resources to update technology and hire expert staff. Rep. Cedric Richmond asked Robyn whether there are any privacy issues with CISA that could not be addressed through guidance from DHS, and Rep. Val Butler Demings asked about the challenges of balancing security and privacy concerns as well as the importance of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board in addressing issues of cybersecurity.
Ultimately, today’s hearing provided an excellent forum for Robyn to share her expertise with members of the subcommittee, and for OTI to engage with Congress on important issues of cybersecurity, privacy, and information sharing. If you would like to learn more about these issues, check out her written testimony and watch the video of the hearing.