Space, Cyberspace Are Stealth Threats to U.S.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Most of the nation does not fully understand the vulnerabilities they pose to U.S. security.

Among the many perils faced by the United States, space and cyberspace pose some of the greatest challenges. And, there is no public wave of awareness or demand for action looming on the horizon, to the detriment of the nation.

This harsh assessment was delivered by the top two members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), committee chairman, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), ranking member of the committee, warned of increasing threats to U.S. economic prominence if those two areas are not addressed.

Cyberspace threats are well known, but less known is the economic impact being wreaked on the U.S. commercial sector. “Cyber is the greatest national security threat that America is not ready to handle,” Rogers declared. “You have international criminal groups acting like countries. We have to protect ourselves. We need to come up with a system to embolden the private sector to protect itself,” he stated.

Ruppersberger noted that China in particular is stealing billions of dollars worth of information from U.S. companies annually in cyber attacks. Ultimately, that will translate into lost jobs for U.S. citizens. It is time for the United States to step up to the challenge, he charged.

“China needs the United States to grow,” the congressman pointed out. “I’ve told China, ‘If our citizens see what you are doing to steal jobs, we’re going to put the word out to not buy China [goods].’ The president must stand up, leadership to leadership.”

China also poses a threat to the United States in space, Ruppersberger continued. “China and Russia are very aggressive in space,” he charged. “We need to let the American people know how important space is. If there is another war, we need space and cyber.

“We are the best in the world in defense and intelligence; we need to support space,” Ruppersberger stated.

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