Senators Call for Select Committee on Cyber Defense

Four senators wrote a letter Sunday calling for the formation of a Senate select committee on cyber warfare, Politico reported. The letter to Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), written by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), comes the week after President Obama, relying on the assessments of US intelligence agencies, suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have directed electronic attacks on US political parties in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Nov. 8 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. President-elect Trump has called the accusations “ridiculous.” The senators disagreed, writing that “recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American,” and that the attack demonstrated “the extraordinary scope and scale of the cyber problem.” They urged McConnell to assemble a comprehensive committee to address the cyber threat and establish policy for US response. Such a select committee would likely involve members from Intelligence, Homeland Security, Armed Services, and Judiciary committees. “Cybersecurity is the ultimate cross-jurisdictional challenge,” the senators wrote, “and we must take a comprehensive approach to meet this challenge effectively.”