Cybersecuity Panel?

Senator John McCain has asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a "Select Committee on Cyber Security and Electronic Intelligence Leaks" to lead the charge on drafting a comprehensive cybersecurity bill.

In a letter he raises concerns that jurisdictional bickering has made it impossible for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation and worries that there is not yet a way to address insider threats, such as that which resulted in WikiLeaks posting thousands of sensitive documents.

It is an interesting proposal, especially in light of the House's move to create a Cybersecurity Task Force (although the Task Force, as of now, is only made up of Republican members). The challenge, however, is that creating such a Select Committee could result in even more jurisdictional heel-digging and strain on existing operational resources within the Administration.

As we have seen with the creation of Homeland Security Committees in the House and Senate, jurisdictional battles often intensify when a new organization enters the picture. As both the Bush and Obama administrations can attest, the creation of Homeland Security Committees only intensified the number of hearings and briefings at which the fledgling Department of Homeland Security had to appear.

Conceptually, bringing all the elements of the multidisciplinary cybersecurity realm together makes sense. To truly address cybersecurity needs, there has to be a way to address the national security, law enforcement, economic, and privacy elements of cyber. How to do so is not so clear.