Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) released the following statement on the cyber talks between the US and China:

“It is good to see the United States and China in serious discussions about establishing rules of engagement in the cyber world. While the agreement will probably focus on limiting cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, having the world’s two most powerful nations take this step can encourage the development of comprehensive, international rules governing the cyber arena.

“For the security of our country, it is essential that we create an international system of rules for cyberwarfare and cybercrime analogous to the Geneva Accords. ‘E-Neva Accords,’ if you will.  The United Nations has done some work to develop guidelines in this area, but there is currently no broad effort to expand these guidelines into official international agreements.  Countries around the world share the common interest of clearly defined rules.

“Cyberattacks can range in severity from stealing credit card information from consumers or denial of service attacks meant to shut down a website to attacking a power grid or air traffic control systems. Not all of these actions ought to be dealt with as acts of war, but some should. Clear distinctions universally understood will create a safer world.

“I will be continuing my efforts as Ranking Member of the NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to help establish such international guidelines. The gears of international diplomacy turn slowly, so it’s vital that we start this work now before we face a cyberthreat to which we’re unprepared to respond.”