Science Committee Members Introduce Bill to Protect American Research from Cyber Attacks
Jul 15, 2019
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics, has introduced legislation to protect taxpayer-funded research from cyber-attacks.
Babin’s bill, the Securing American Research from Cyber Theft Act, is cosponsored by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and the Ranking Members of every Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee: Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Weber (R-TX), Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Roger Marshall (R-KS), Investigations & Oversight Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Research & Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Baird (R-IN).
Currently, universities must implement more than 100 separate controls to comply with federal guidelines for certain research. However, the complexity and cost of these controls means many universities are unable to meet these security requirements.
This bill would protect sensitive research from foreign adversaries through the creation of secure computing enclaves. This pilot program is a necessary first step to establish a model for universities to protect taxpayer-funded research and valuable intellectual property from theft.
“It’s becoming more and more difficult to protect American research and intellectual property from cyber-attacks,” said the bill’s sponsor, Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin. “This pilot program gives researchers the tools needed to conduct sensitive research in a secure environment, and it safeguards taxpayers’ investments in emerging technologies.”
“I am proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring H.R. 3611, Securing American Research from Cyber Theft,” said Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Weber. “Foreign adversaries target American universities for cyber theft and this bill is an important first step to combat this threat. Our great Texas universities are leading the way in efforts to protect taxpayer-funded research and valuable intellectual property. I applaud their hard work and thank them for working with Congress to make this legislation come together.”
“Universities are a critical component of our research and development infrastructure, however the recent targeting of these institutions by foreign governments for cyber theft highlights the need for increased data security standards,” said Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Roger Marshall. “This bill develops a computing enclave pilot program for universities and other non-profits to secure their federally supported research, which is vital to protecting U.S. institutions as well as intellectual property.”
"As long as our nation is in the forefront of innovation, creativity, and growth, we will be the target of envy and intellectual theft," said Investigations & Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Norman. "One significant threat is foreign espionage in academia, and this Committee has conducted extensive oversight over this issue. This pilot program takes an important first step to allowing universities to effectively protect the taxpayers' investment into federally funded research. I am proud to cosponsor legislation to secure the cutting edge research being done in my home state of South Carolina and across the country."
“Universities throughout the state of Ohio are on the cutting edge of innovation and advancement," said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez. "This makes our research programs a target for nations like China, who we know are actively stealing our intellectual property and world-renowned research and development. It is vital for our national security and economic future that we do a better job preventing this form of foreign hostility and promote the great work being done at universities across our nation.”
“In order to stay ahead, we must protect the intellectual property of our innovators and researchers,” said Research & Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Baird. “Cybersecurity has vast implications for our prosperity as a nation in an increasingly complex and digital world, and it is vital that we take the necessary steps toward ensuring reliable security for those tasked with guarding it. I’m proud to work with my colleagues to protect valuable taxpayer-funded research and data from those who wish to do us harm.”