Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul thinks the U.S. should have a strategy for responding to cyberattacks, and on Tuesday the Texas Republican said he wanted to work on legislation on the House Foreign Affairs panel.
“We don’t know how to respond to these things,” McCaul said at a House Foreign Affairs hearing on U.S. policy towards North Korea. He cited, for example, the massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has attributed to North Korea and the recent hack of U.S. CENTCOM’s Twitter and YouTube accounts.
“Proportional response, what does that mean? Act of warfare, what does that mean?” he said.
He said he wanted to work with Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., on a “cyber agenda” on the panel, because it was outside his panel’s jurisdiction, in terms of “what do we do with other countries?”
“Do we have a NATO alliance with cyber when a country has hit the other?” he said. What is the “appropriate response when a nation-state hits our infrastructures,” and when a “terrorist organization hits our military,” he said.
The panel had an opportunity to work on legislation that “could deal with defining what is proportionate response, how other countries should respond with us,” he later said.
How is the U.S. going to response in the event of attacks on companies, departments and our military, he asked?
Royce and Virginia Democrat Gerald E. Connolly, seemed interested, both saying they’d be happy to work with McCaul.
Tim Starks at Five by Five has more on McCaul calling for the development U.S. cyber offense rules on Monday and how it’s an area that’s been given much thought, but hasn’t seen much action.