Issues

Bipartisan bill seeks to boost joint U.S.-Israel cybersecurity initiatives

04/20/2021

A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers is introducing legislation that would provide $30 million over five years to facilitate joint cybersecurity partnership programs between the United States and Israel.

The legislation comes as Washington continues to grapple with an escalating series of cyberattacks in which Russian intelligence was able to compromise scores of government agencies and private companies. The U.S. and Israel’s common enemy, Iran, has also been implicated in a series of cyber attacks in recent years.

In the Senate, the bill is sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Todd Young (R-IN), joined by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) in the House.

The legislation would establish a Department of Homeland Security grant program to fund research by a range of actors, including government entities, private companies, nonprofits and academic institutions, under the condition that they partner with corresponding entities in the other country.

Grants would be assigned by the secretary of Homeland Security, advised by a three-member board made up of one federal government representative and two members recommended by other preexisting U.S.-Israel cooperative groups.

“As cybersecurity threats continue to grow in scale, frequency, and sophistication, it’s critical that we find innovative solutions to acquire new technologies,” Rosen said in a statement. “To help us stay ahead of the curve, this bipartisan legislation would enable greater collaboration between the United States and Israel — a major hub for new and emerging cybersecurity technologies. Together, we can develop forward-thinking cybersecurity technologies and initiatives that protect both nations from malicious cyber actors.”

Read More: Jewish Insider