Romero said he's concerned that the fight against cyberattacks will become similar to the country's decade-old fight against terrorism. "In the name of fighting terrorism, we tortured, we abrogated due process for certain detainees, we opened a military camp in Guantanamo that's still open to this day," he said. "In the name of national security and cybersecurity, we could easily go too far as well."
The Cybersecurity Act had several civil liberties protections, Collins said. Civil liberties concerns are a good reason for Congress to act now, not after a major attack, she said.
In addition to destructive attacks, cybercriminals are stealing U.S. intellectual property, she said. "It is our economic edge, our intellectual property, our R&D, that's being stolen," she said. "It costs billions of dollars and millions of jobs to our country."
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.