Senator Jack Reed
Joint Economic Committee Hearing:
Thank you Mr. Chairman. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee
as well as this committee, I am especially pleased to have the question
of cyber security and the U.S. economy addressed today. Of course,
the issues of security and cyberspace are myriad and complex--we will
barely be able to scratch the surface in a single hearing. But, judging
from the list of eminent witnesses who have agreed to appear today,
I'm sure that we will learn as much as is possible during our limited
time. I welcome all of our witnesses and presenters--thank you for
coming before the Committee today.
"Wired World: Cyber Security and the U.S. Economy"
June 21, 2001
Advances in information technology and applications were critical
to the spectacular expansion the U.S. economy enjoyed during the
1990s. Technological advances in computing and communications, especially
the internet, contributed significantly to the resurgence of U.S.
productivity in recent years, and they are certain to play important
economic roles for years to come.
There is little doubt that increased use of the internet has been
a great boon to the U.S. economy. By the same token, however, the
expansion of economic opportunities made possible by the advances
in information technology and the internet has been attended by
an expansion of risks as well. These risks encompass a wide range
of interests, from the safeguarding of our national security and
the integrity of our financial system to the preservation of the
privacy of the individual, with many other interests within this
spectrum as well.
We are only beginning to understand the extent of the risks to
our critical infrastructure and economic security. The internet
maps to be presented during today's hearing bring home the point
that internet links can confuse the borders between individuals
and other economic entities. Viewed as an entity in cyber space,
a corporation has no clear beginning or end. Similarly, national
borders are blurred within the context of cyber geography. The internet
challenges us to reevaluate our traditional views of how the world
And, the new technology challenges us to reevaluate the way government
can interact with the private economy. Is the government doing what
it can to minimize the risks of cyber threats to our critical defense
and civilian infrastructures? How can government best collaborate
with the private sector, households and businesses, to ensure the
productivity and protection of the economy?
I thank our distinguished witnesses for testifying this morning.