King: Chinese spying proves need for cyber security bill

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) applauded the Department of Justice’s decision to charge five Chinese soldiers for cyber spying on U.S. companies but said Congress should also pass a comprehensive cyber security bill.

“For far too long hackers in China have stolen our intellectual property, our technology blueprints, our business plans — in effect, our ideas — which has put some Americans in manufacturing states like Maine out of work,” King said Monday. “It’s time we fight back.”

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On Monday, DOJ announced it would for the first time ever bring criminal hacking charges against a foreign country, which has targeted U.S. nuclear, solar and metal industries.

“I welcome today’s announcement from the Attorney General and will continue to push for the long-overdue development of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation to combat these crimes,” King said.

The Senate tried to pass a bipartisan cyber security bill during the last congressional session, but lawmakers failed to reach a final deal that would have updated cyber protections for U.S. infrastructure. King’s colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) led the efforts with former Sen. Joe Liberman (I-Conn.). 

King has urged Senate Intelligence Committee leaders to try again this year. He serves on that committee.