March 24, 2017

Whitehouse Introduces Bill to Boost US-Israel Cooperation on Cybersecurity

Washington, DC – Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen cooperation between the United States and Israel on cybersecurity.  The United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act would establish a grant program at the Department of Homeland Security to leverage private-sector investment and encourage cooperative cybersecurity research and development between the two nations.  Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Whitehouse in introducing the bill.

“The United States and Israel are not only close allies, but also prime targets for serious cyber threats,” said Whitehouse.  “Encouraging the best cyber minds in both countries to work together will expand our shared knowledge and help to harden our defenses against our mutual adversaries in cyberspace.  I am proud to take on the mantle of this legislation in the Senate on behalf of my friend and colleague from Rhode Island, Congressman Jim Langevin, a national leader on cybersecurity, who has led the bill in the House.”

“The United States and Israel are two global leaders in cybersecurity innovation and this bipartisan bill will strengthen communication and advance efforts to bolster security,” Daines stated. “By sharing information, together we can seek out and combat bad actors while protecting national security.”

“Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East, and it is critical we stand united and prepared to protect our cyber infrastructures against a wide array of growing threats,” said Peters. “I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will expand opportunities for the United States and Israel to work together to defend against cyber attacks, while further deepening the unshakable bonds between our two nations.”

“As cyber threats continue to grow, we must work with our close allies like Israel to share information and develop technologies that can prevent bad actors from infiltrating our systems,” said Gardner. “This commonsense, bipartisan bill will create a grant program that will benefit both countries and lead to innovative technologies that will keep both countries safer.”

“Cybersecurity is an essential facet of our national security, our infrastructure and our democracy,” said Duckworth.  “I’m pleased to be working with Senator Whitehouse and a bipartisan coalition to strengthen the close partnership between the United States and Israel, which is one of our most important allies.  Closer collaboration will help both of our nations improve their defenses against cybersecurity threats, both foreign and domestic.”

The grant program established under the bill would provide funding for research and technology development related to identifying, protecting against, detecting, responding to, and recovering from cybersecurity threats, as well as the demonstration and commercialization of cybersecurity technology.  Private companies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and government entities in Israel or the United States would be eligible for the grants, so long as they are engaged in a joint venture with a corresponding institution in the other country.


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