Securing the Nation’s Internet Architecture (Joint Subcommittee Hearing with HASC, Subcommittee on Intelligence & Emerging Threats & Capabilities)

Date: 
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 2:00pm
Location: 
2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Securing the Nation’s Internet Architecture (Joint Subcommittee Hearing with HASC, Subcommittee on Intelligence & Emerging Threats & Capabilities)

CHAIRMAN LYNCH'S OPENING STATEMENT

PURPOSE

The hearing will examine how departments and agencies across the federal government coordinate to secure the critical components and locations upon which the nation’s internet architecture depends.

The hearing will also allow members to assess and examine the policies, authorities, and guidance for departments and agencies to collaborate, synchronize, and deconflict efforts.

BACKGROUND

  • The internet is both ubiquitous and essential to everyday life and national economic livelihood.  The internet is enabled by a diverse set of hardware, software, protocols, switches, routers, fiber, and other components that must operate for individuals to be able to access their email, bank statements, and business.  The internet is primarily built, funded, owned, and operated by the private sector. Due to its decentralized nature, however, no single government agency or entity is responsible for maintaining the security and reliability of the internet.
  • A 2006 Government Accountability Office report stated that global internet infrastructure is at risk of “disruptions in service due to terrorist and other malicious attacks, natural disasters, accidents, technological problems, or a combination of the above.”  These disruptions can be caused by “cyber and physical incidents – both intentional and unintentional.”
  • Potential threats and vulnerabilities to U.S. internet architecture are highlighted by recent events, including a January Emergency Directive issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, which warned federal agencies about a global Domain Name System (DNS) hijacking campaign that included attackers redirecting and intercepting web and mail traffic.  U.S. military officials have also noticed increased Russian submarine activity around undersea data cables in the Atlantic Ocean, warning that this activity could indicate attempts to monitor, cut, or interfere with the cables.

WITNESSES

Ms. Jeanette Manfra 
Assistant Director for Cybersecurity
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency

Ms. Diane Rinaldo
Acting Assistant Secretary/Administrator
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Mr. B. Edwin Wilson
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy
U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

116th Congress