A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has introduced legislation aimed at boosting congressional oversight of sensitive U.S. military cyber operations and cyber weapons.
Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On steel and aluminum trade, Trumpism still rules Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Pentagon vows more airstrike transparency MORE (D-Wash.), chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, along with Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) announced the bill on Thursday.
The legislation would require that Congress be notified within 48 hours of any sensitive military cyber operations that are conducted and would also mandate notification of any unauthorized disclosure of cyber capabilities.
Stefanik outlined the effort in an interview with the local Post-Star, indicating that she would like to see the language attached to fiscal 2018 defense policy legislation that the committee is due to mark up in coming weeks.
Stefanik and Langevin lead the Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities and have both been active in the area of cybersecurity.
The lawmakers described the bill as allowing for the appropriate amount of oversight of sensitive cyber defense operations.
“While there are programs that must necessarily remain classified to keep the country safe,” Thornberry said, “Congress still has a responsibility to conduct appropriate oversight in order to protect our security and our essential freedoms at the same time.”
“This proposal to enhance congressional oversight of sensitive military cyber operations and cyber weapons will help achieve that balance by promoting greater transparency and accountability for some of the most classified elements of our national defense,” he said.
Langevin said that the bill “brings cyber in line with the other notifications Congress already receives and will help broaden our collaboration and conversation with the Department of Defense when it comes to cyber operations.”