U.S. Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) recently participated in a panel at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference to discuss cybersecurity-related bills that recently passed through Congress.
Langevin and Ratcliffe began their discussion by detailing their congressional delegation trip to Israel in May 2016 to exchange ideas on a range of cybersecurity issues with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon. Upon their return, the representatives introduced two U.S.-Israel cybersecurity bills.
“Our congressional delegation trip last year provided a clear vision of ways to enhance our country’s cybersecurity collaboration with Israel,” Ratcliffe said. “Each step along the way, from our initial discussions, until signature into law, we were humbled to have the strong support of our friends at AIPAC.”
The first bill, titled the United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, aimed to strengthen collaborative cybersecurity research and development efforts between the two nations by expanding the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency to include cybersecurity technologies. The bill was signed into law in December.
The second bill, the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act, would create a cybersecurity grant program for joint research and development ventures between organizations like the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the United States-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. The legislation awaits a vote in the Senate after advancing the House in January.
“Cybersecurity has quickly risen as a top mutual priority for both of our countries, and I’m looking forward to how we’ll continue expanding this longstanding partnership in the years to come,” Ratcliffe said.