COLORADO SPRINGS, NATIONAL SPACE SYMPOSIUM: Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, met recently with China’s equivalent of the NSA director.
The head of the PLA’s General Staff Department’s Third Department told the congressman — in whose district the NSA’s headquarters sit — he wanted to cooperate with the United States and work more closely with us. Ruppersburger told a gathering at Cyber 1.3 here that he told the official that, while he wanted and looked forward to cooperation between the two countries, China had to stop stealing the estimated $400 billion in intellectual property it uses cyber tools to grab each year from American companies before that could happen.
Ruppersburger possesses unique credibility in making such comments to the head of China’s NSA. He represents NSA employees and, as ranking member of the HPSCI, he is a member of the Gang of Eight, the House and Senate members who must be informed by the president on America’s most secret intelligence operations. Of course, you can be sure the Chinese official knew most or all of that.
Ruppersburger, who works very closely with committee chairman Rep. David Rogers, said the committee plans to mark up CISPA, the House cyber bill, tomorrow. He hopes the bill will be passed in its slightly amended form by the middle of April, from whence it can move to the Senate. AOL D readers will remember that the bill died in the Senate last year, put down by a few Republicans pushed by the Chamber of Commerce, who thought it would hurt industry.
It’s unclear just who in the Senate will lead the effort to pass a cyber bill with the departure of former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Ruppersburger was careful to avoid the subject of Senate deliberations, only telling me that, “we need them to get it passed.”