WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Todd Young (R-IN) alongside Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) announced their introduction of the U.S.-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would establish a Department of Homeland Security grant program to facilitate closer U.S.-Israel cybersecurity cooperation.
“As cybersecurity threats continue to grow in scale, frequency, and sophistication, it’s critical that we find innovative solutions to acquire new technologies,” said Senator Rosen. “To help us stay ahead of the curve, this bipartisan legislation would enable greater collaboration between the United States and Israel -- a major hub for new and emerging cybersecurity technologies. Together, we can develop forward-thinking cybersecurity technologies and initiatives that protect both nations from malicious cyber actors. I thank Senators Collins and Whitehouse for joining me in introducing this legislation in the Senate and am grateful for Representative Langevin’s leadership on the bill in the House.”
“Cyberattacks pose a grave risk to our national security, intellectual property, personal data, and public safety. The recent SolarWinds hack demonstrated how vulnerable U.S. networks are to cyberattacks and should serve as a wake-up call about the need to address our glaring vulnerabilities,” said Senator Collins. “By facilitating closer cooperation with our ally Israel, our bipartisan bill would help the U.S. develop sophisticated cybersecurity technology and thwart future attacks.”
“America and Israel are global leaders in cybersecurity,” said Senator Whitehouse. “As steadfast allies, our nations ought to be working closely on the new technology and knowhow we’ll need to battle our shared adversaries, and to bring new cyber tools to market so our private sectors can harden their defenses. I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort to forge a stronger cyber partnership with Israel and congratulate Congressman Langevin on his leadership.”
“Israel is one of our most important allies, and collaborating on cybersecurity threats is more important than ever,” said Senator Young. “Under this bipartisan bill, the private sector, academic institutions, and other entities will have access to funding for these critical partnerships and will serve to deepen the relationship between the United States and Israel even further.”
“At a time when our cyber defenses are being tested like never before, we must explore every avenue available to invest in cutting-edge cybersecurity research and innovation,” said Congressman Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “This bill will devote resources towards strengthening our cybersecurity partnership with our staunch ally Israel and yield valuable solutions to help keep Americans safe in cyberspace.”
“Cyber threats are now more prolific than at any time in our history, as is the indiscriminate targeting of the Federal government, private sector, state and locals, and private citizens,” said Congressman Garbarino. “We must do more to defend against these threats by working closely together with our allies. I am pleased to join this bipartisan, bicameral effort to facilitate a stronger cyber partnership with Israel and ultimately develop more sophisticated cybersecurity technologies in order to thwart the next SolarWinds campaign.”
BACKGROUND: The U.S.-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act would establish a Department of Homeland Security grant program to support cybersecurity research and development, and the demonstration and commercialization of cybersecurity technology. The grant program would be funded at a level of $6 million annually for five years. Private companies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and government entities in Israel or the U.S. would be eligible for the grants, so long as they are engaged in a joint venture with a corresponding institution in the other country.
Last Congress, Senator Rosen introduced the U.S.-Israel Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Act (S. 2309), bipartisan legislation that would require the State Department to investigate potential benefits of establishing a joint U.S.-Israel cybersecurity center.
Congressman Langevin first introduced the U.S.-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act in 2016 after a fact-finding visit to Israel, and it has passed the House of Representatives numerous times.