Oversight and Armed Services Subcommittees to Examine Securing the Nation’s Internet Architecture

Sep 9, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C. (Sept. 9, 2019)—On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch and Rep. Jody Hice, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Oversight Committee Subcommittee on National Security, and Rep. Jim Langevin and Rep. Elise Stefanik, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, will hold a joint hearing on “Securing the Nation’s Internet Architecture.
 

WHERE: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building 

WHEN: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST

The hearing will broadcast here.
 

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

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Department of Homeland Security

 

Mr. B. Edwin “Ed” Wilson

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

Department of Defense

 

Ms. Diane Rinaldo

Acting Assistant Secretary and Administrator

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Department of Commerce

116th Congress