Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter •  Volume 2, Number 10  • June 2006

CSIA Congressional Spotlight

Senator Richard G. Lugar (R - IN)


Born: Indianapolis, IN, April 4, 1932

Elected: 1976 (began 5th term in January 2001)

Committee Assignments: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation & Rural Revitalization, Subcommittee on Marketing, Inspection & Product Promotion; Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition & General Legislation; Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Education: Denison University, BA, 1954; Oxford University, MA, 1956 (Rhodes Scholar)

Career: Farm manager; manufacturing executive

Notable: Indianapolis School Board, 1964-67; mayor of Indianapolis, 1968-75; Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, 1974; sought Republican nomination for president, 1996.

About Senator Lugar: Senator Lugar was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976. In 2000, he was re-elected to his fifth term. He is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and a member and former Chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.

Senator Lugar has gained wide recognition as a leader on national security policy. Foremost among his initiatives is the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, an ambitious program to safeguard and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.

Senator Lugar played key roles in Senate ratification of the START I, START II, and INF treaties and the Chemical Weapons Convention. He was an early supporter of NATO enlargement, and he helped usher in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic as new members in1998.

Senator Lugar has been the author of a wide array of successful legislative initiatives. He is considered one of the foremost advocates of scientific research in the Senate. He was the co-author of the 1996 Nunn-Lugar-Domenici program, which has facilitated the training of first responders in more than 120 cities for the possibility of an attack by nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

Senator Lugar, who served as a member of the 1993 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, has been a strong advocate for improving the legislative process. He has been a leader of efforts to streamline appointment procedures, adopt a two-year budget, and limit the use of Senate "holds." Historically, his 98 percent lifetime voting participation record ranks first among the class of 18 Senators who were elected in 1976.

Senator Lugar was the fourth person to be awarded the prestigious "Outstanding Legislator" award by the American Political Science Association.


Addressing The Global Nature of Cyber Threats

With the recent arrest of seventeen terrorism suspects in Canada, we have once again been reminded of the role that computer systems can play in planning attacks against America and its allies. As Michael Wilson, Canada’s Ambassador to Washington, said, "The Internet was, according to the police, a very important part of their activities," which allegedly included a plot to storm the Canadian Parliament to behead its members.

Beyond terrorist communications and planning, U.S. computer networks – which serve as critical infrastructure for our military, utilities, satellites, and transportation systems – offer ready targets to those who would threaten our national security and economic well-being. Vulnerable networks also pose a concern to American businesses and families. A recent FBI survey noted that computer-based attacks, launched from 36 countries, cost American businesses $67 billion in 2005. Given the global nature of these cyber threats, our ability to enhance cooperation with foreign governments on cyber security is critical to safeguarding the American public.

The Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, currently pending ratification in the U.S. Senate, is the first and only multilateral treaty to address specifically the problems posed by international computer-related crime. The Convention – for which the U.S. was a leading negotiator – requires the parties to prohibit certain electronic crimes under their domestic law, to develop and be prepared to use more effective investigative methods with respect to cyber crimes and electronic data, and to cooperate with other parties to investigate and prosecute such crimes.

No enabling legislation or additional police and surveillance powers would be required for America to comply with the treaty. U.S. law already criminalizes the offenses and provides for the investigative powers contained in the Convention. Moreover, the Convention contains the same high levels of safeguards found in U.S. bilateral mutual assistance treaties to ensure that the United States will not provide assistance to treaty partners in any inappropriate situations.

Once it comes into force, the Convention will eliminate many safe havens for illicit computer activities provided by those countries with less stringent laws against cyber crime. In addition, the Convention would create an international network of law enforcement contacts available around-the-clock with the authority to trace and pursue electronic attacks. In short, the United States would be a major beneficiary of the Convention, because it requires little from us that we are not already doing, while obligating our foreign partners to take steps that are very much in the interest of U.S. national security.

The Convention is supported by law enforcement interests, the information technology industry, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, among others. After thorough review, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously recommended the Convention to the full Senate in November 2005. I have been working with the Cyber Security Industry Alliance and other groups to achieve final passage in the Senate this year.

While terrorists and criminals develop new ways to use computers to inflict harm upon America and our allies, we need a comprehensive and coordinated approach to stay one step ahead. Ratification of the Cybercrime Convention would give us an indispensable tool to fight these threats beyond our own shores.