President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Friday that will strengthen U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity cooperation and create joint research programs.
The United States-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016 was jointly introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), the chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, and subcommittee member Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) after they returned from a congressional trip to Israel in July that focused on cybersecurity issues. The law will include Israel in a Department of Homeland Security international cooperation program that engages in, as the bill describes, “cooperative research activities with foreign partner governments that are allies in the global war on terrorism.”
“Cybersecurity is the national and economic security challenge of our time, and we must use every resource at our disposal to support research, foster innovation, and fortify our cyber defenses. This must include a collaborative approach that allows us to work with our leading partners, like Israel, to develop new technologies for our cyber incident responders,” Langevin explained in a statement. “Passage of this law will enhance cybersecurity for the United States and Israel, putting us on a shared path toward innovative solutions to the threats we face.”
“My work as a cybersecurity subcommittee chairman over the past two years has focused on ensuring American citizens are protected from the growing national security threats posed by malicious cyber actors who intend to do our nation harm. I’m glad I was able to work closely with Rep. Langevin to craft legislation to advance this important fight that is now the law of the land,” Ratcliffe said.
Congress overwhelmingly approved a $600 million plan to boost U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation earlier this month. In September, the two countries signed a ten-year, $38 billion memorandum of understanding governing American military aid to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum earlier this month that the memorandum reflects “the strong bipartisan support for Israel in the Congress and the broad support for Israel in the American people.”
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