A bipartisan group of senators is pressing President Trump to issue a national strategy for deterring malicious activity in cyberspace “as soon as possible,” accusing successive administrations of not giving enough urgency to the issue. “The lack of decisive and clearly articulated consequences to cyberattacks against our country has served as an open invitation to foreign adversaries and malicious cyber actors to continue attacking the United States,” the senators wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill. “The United States has failed to formulate, implement, and declare a comprehensive cyber doctrine with an appropriate sense of urgency,” they wrote. “We urge you to end this state of inaction immediately.”
The letter was spearheaded by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). It is signed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who chairs the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on cyber, as well as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
Lawmakers have taken issue with both the Obama and Trump administrations for failing to develop a comprehensive strategy for deterring and responding to malicious behavior in cyberspace.
In order to press the executive branch on the issue, Congress inserted language into recent iterations of annual defense policy legislation directing the president to develop a cyber deterrence strategy.