Congressman Patrick Meehan

Representing the 7th District of Pennsylvania

Meehan Joins McCaul, Warner to Urge Establishment of Digital Security Commission

Mar 1, 2016
Press Release
Bipartisan commission will examine and address issues of national and digital security by bringing together experts, stakeholders

Congressman Patrick Meehan (R/PA-07) last night joined Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R/TX-10), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and 21 of his colleagues from both parties and both houses of Congress to introduce legislation establishing the McCaul-Warner Commission on Digital Security. The Commission will address issues of privacy, cybersecurity, encryption, and the exploitation of secure communications by terrorists. It will include experts in data security, technology, privacy, intelligence, law enforcement and other stakeholders.

“We must address the issues raised in the Apple-FBI dispute to ensure we’re protecting our national security and our civil liberties,” said Congressman Meehan. “Terrorists grow increasingly sophisticated in their communications and our intelligence personnel rightly fear terror networks will ‘go dark’ until they’re ready to act on their plans. And American consumers, who have been victimized by hackers and cyber intrusions by the millions, are rightly concerned about the security of their private data. Reconciling these concerns is not easy.”

“These questions are too important – and the stakes too high – to be left solely to the narrowly-tailored resolution of the courts. What’s needed is a vigorous debate on these issues and legislation authored by Congress that strikes the appropriate balance between security and privacy. The Commission established by this bill will foster and inform that debate,” Meehan said.

Meehan, a former United States Attorney and former chair of the cybersecurity subcommittee in the 113th Congress, penned an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer last week that spoke favorably of the Commission proposed by the legislation.

“When I served as the cybersecurity subcommittee chairman, collaborative discussions led to a breakthrough agreement between industry and government on how to defend against and respond to cyberattacks,” Meehan wrote. “Ultimately, delicate questions of liability and privacy were resolved through legislation that promotes the best solution for competing interests. The same should be done with technological innovation and the legitimate purposes of search warrants.”

“A court resolution promises only a narrow fix and invites more litigation that could create greater ambiguity. The parties have to find common ground, and Congress needs to write it into law,” Meehan’s piece concluded.