House bills seek to strengthen U.S.-Israel cybersecurity partnership


July 15, 2016

Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, introduced two bills Thursday to strengthen joint cybersecurity research and development efforts between the U.S. and Israel.

“The United States and Israel are the two top exporters of cybersecurity technologies,” said Langevin in a statement. “Our bills will leverage the reservoirs of expertise in both nations to advance the frontiers of cyber science.”

The bills seek to formalize a grant-funding program for early-stage cyber innovation and to expand an ongoing R&D program jointly conducted by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and Israeli Ministry of Public Security.

“Our recent discussions with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu confirmed just how important it is that we unite forces to formulate ongoing, effective strategies to best address the rapidly evolving cyber threats faced by both of our nations. After all, cybersecurity is national security,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Introduction of the bills comes two months after a Congressional delegation traveled to Israel to meet with government officials regarding joint cybersecurity operations.

Langevin’s proposed R&D grant program — under the bill titled the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016 — would rely on a peer-reviewed application process “tailored to [the] research requirements” of the Secretary of Homeland Security and reviewed by two U.S.-Israeli scientific organizations: the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, or BSF, and Binational Industrial Research and Development foundation, or BIRD.

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